As almost all commercial passenger aircraft in India have been grounded due to COVID-19 lockdown, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on April 9 issued guidelines for their storage and subsequent return to service.
“Some aircraft manufacturers have recommended storage programs. An operator may use these recommendations while developing their own specific storage programme,” the DGCA circular noted, adding that each company’s storage programme must be approved by the regulator.
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“Depending on the level of preservation, intended length of storage, and the security of the aircraft, the operator should consider removing the C of A [certificate of airworthiness], the C of R [certificate of registration] and other documents on board, from stored aircraft of safekeeping,” the circular added.
India has imposed a 21-day lockdown till April 14 to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this time period.
However, cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by the DGCA are allowed to operate during this lockdown.
Airlines have also been authorised to transport cargo across the country using commercial passenger aircraft. IndiGo, SpiceJet, AirAsia India and Air India have been conducting such flights.
However, most aircraft of Indian airlines are grounded currently.