Lok Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) bill, 2020

The Lok Sabha recently passed Aircraft (Amendment) bill, 2020. The bill was passed through voice vote in the lower house. The amendments are being made to fulfil the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organization.

Highlights

The amendment aims to regulate three regulatory bodies namely Bureau of Civil Aviation (BCA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB). The amendment will make these bodies effective and enhance safety and security of aircraft operations.

The bill when passed as an act will allow the central government to make rules on inspecting aircraft, rules for flying an aircraft and also to measure civil aviation safeguards against unlawful interference.

Penalties

The bill allows central government to cancel licenses, approvals and certificates. It also includes issuing licenses to repair, operate and maintain aircrafts. The bill also proposes that a court that is equivalent or superior to metropolitan magistrate can hear cases under the act.

About the regulatory bodies

The DGCA carries out safety and regulatory functions. The BCAS discharges oversees civil aviation security functions. The AAIB is the body that is responsible for carrying out investigations of air accidents.

What are the current penalties?

The Aircraft Act, 1934 includes penalties such as carrying arms, explosives and other dangerous goods, contravening rules notified under the act and building structures withing aerodrome perimeters.

Why the amendment?

The Civil Aviation Organization conducted an audit in 2015. According to the audit, there was a need to amend the act to recognize and regulate the bodies and empower officers to impose penalties for violating the legal provisions.

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