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Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020: Conversion Of Directorate General To Statutory Bodies


The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, on February 4, 2020. The Bill seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934. The Act regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import, and export of civil aircraft, and licensing of aerodromes.


What is Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020?


The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to convert the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, and Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau to statutory bodies.

In this, the penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both. The Bill raises the maximum limit on fines for all these offences from Rs 10 lakh to one crore rupees.


The Parliament passed Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on September 15, 2020, after it was approved by the Rajya Sabha.



Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020: Key Features


The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 proposes to convert three existing regulatory bodies under the Civil Aviation Ministry into statutory bodies under the Aircraft Act, 1934. The three regulatory bodies include:


1. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)


2. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS)


3. Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB)


Functions of the three authorities


DGCA: It will carry out regulatory and safety oversight functions concerning matters under the Bill.


BCAS: The authority will discharge regulatory oversight functions related to civil aviation security.


AAIB: The body will carry out investigations related to aircraft accidents and incidents.



Exemption


The aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force, Navy, or the Army will be exempted from the provisions of the Aircraft Act. The amendment bill expands the exemption to include aircraft belonging to any other armed force of the nation. However, the aircraft belonging to any other armed force, which currently falls under the Act’s regulation will continue to do so until orders by the centre.

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