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From next year, no operations from unlicensed airports

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Air transport service providers that operate from smaller unlicensed airports will not be allowed to do so after June 30, 2011, a statement by the Ministry of Civil Aviation here Friday said.

No person shall operate scheduled air transport services to or from an aerodrome with effect from June 30, 2011, unless it has been licensed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the statement said.

According to it, the licensing procedure was initiated as part of the standards which were notified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Subsequently, the licensing norms were also amended in the Aircraft Rules 1937.

‘While making the amendment in the Aircraft Rules, a provision was kept for the licensing of aerodromes which were already in use for scheduled flight operation,’ statement said.

Of the 87 small-sized airports in the country, commonly known as aerodromes, 53 are operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and 22 by the Ministry of Defence which need licensing.

In view of the large number of aerodromes to be licensed, a phased approach was taken by India wherein priority was given to licensing the international aerodromes in the first phase.

The statement further said that 11 international and 12 domestic aerodromes have been licensed till date.

Earlier, the AAI had said that licensing of 40 airports is underway, and that the procedure is time-consuming as huge amounts of data has to be obtained before licences are given out.

The licensing process started in 2004.

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