Government can requisition any aircraft

Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: In a bid to cater to emergency situations, the government can now ask airlines, including private ones, to place one or more aircraft at its disposal on an immediate basis in the interest of public safety.

The move comes in the wake of situations, including the sudden requirement of sending National Security Guard (NSG) commandos to a certain place to meet exigencies like the Mumbai terror attacks.

Under a notification issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry, an authorised officer, not below the rank of Joint Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry or in the Home Ministry, can request one or more aircraft from any specified operator for the government “in the interest of public safety,” an official spokesperson said.

It would be mandatory for an operator to provide an aircraft with crew, maintenance personnel and all material necessary for the operation of the plane for public service purposes, he said. As per the notification, the government would pay for the expenses incurred in the operation to the operator in accordance with the Aircraft Act, 1934.

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