Bureau of Civil Aviation Security Current Affairs - 2020

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.

Cabinet approves Aircraft (amendment) bill, 2019

The Union Cabinet on December 11, 2019 approved Aircraft (Amendment) bill, 2019 to amend the Aircrafts act, 1934. The main objective of the bill is to fulfill the safety requirements of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Key Features of the Bill

The Bill intends to regulate the areas of air navigation. It enhances the punishment from 10 lakh rupees to 1 crore rupees for those failing to comply norms of Government of India. Also, the bill will enable three regulatory bodies namely Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB).

It will increase safety and security of air transport in the country.

Need

In 2018, the ICAO, a global aviation watchdog of the United Nations carried out a Universal Safety Audit Programme for India. The audit showed that the safety score of India declined to 57.44% in 2018 from 65.82% in 2017. The score was far less than Nepal and Pakistan. The audit was performed in air navigation services, aerodromes, aircraft accidents and investigations, ground aids, etc.

The world average score for aircraft safety set by ICAO is 65%. India’s score is far below the world average. With the successful implementation of UDAN scheme, the aircraft carriers and operators have increased. Therefore, it is mandatory to imply strict regulations to keep up the safety of the passengers.