New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has partially relaxed the ban on Boeing 737 Max aircraft in India, allowing international airlines to fly the plane over the country's air space. In an official order released on Tuesday, the DGCA said, "This order supersedes the Order No. DGCA-15018(21)/9/2018-DAS dated 13th March, 2019, regarding operation of Boeing 737 Max aircraft." It said that the operational prohibition will not apply to "Foreign registered Boeing 737 Max aircraft, for overflying the Indian airspace provided that the aircraft has been permitted by the regulatory authority of the State of Registry of the said aircraft for conduct of such operations and subject to obtaining permission from DGCA."
The aviation regulator has also allowed grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes in India to be flown for 'operational readiness.'
In the official order, the DGCA added that the prohibition will also not apply to "Foreign registered Boeing 737 Max aircraft, currently grounded in India, for performing Operational Readiness flight followed by ferry flight outside India, subject to obtaining permission from the regulatory authority of the State of Registry and DGCA for conduct of such flights and subject to fulfilling such conditions as may be considered necessary by DGCA for safety of operations."
However, the ban on operating these flights in India still remains in place.
In India, SpiceJet has a fleet of 13 Boeing 737 Max aircraft which have been grounded since 2019 in the wake of the twin tragedies. Jet Airways, which stopped operations in 2019, also operated these aircrafts. The Boeing 737 MAX planes, which began service in 2017, was involved in two fatal accidents — Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019, in Ethiopia. The crash was attributed to a malfunction of the aircraft's new automated control feature and resulted in the grounding of the aircraft globally.
(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram & Twitter as well. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and follow us on Twitter to stay updated)