Foreign Airlines Eyeing Indian Market Must Obtain Operating Authorization or Operating Permit From The Indian CAA

India, as the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing aviation market, presents a tremendous opportunity for foreign airlines. With a growing economy and disposable income, an increasing number of Indians are looking to travel abroad. The passenger count, currently at 75 million, is expected to surge to 120-125 million within the next 7-10 years. In this context, foreign airlines seeking to operate in India must apply for an operating permit or operating authorisation from the Indian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This article highlights the steps involved in taking Operating Authorisation or Operating permits from DGCA.

The process to be followed for obtaining “Operating authorization” to operate Scheduled Airline:
Ministry of Civil Aviation:

Note verbal – The local government of the interested airline will write to the Indian civil aviation
ministry via diplomatic channels, asking them to accept the airline as the designated carrier
from the home country. The Indian Ministry of civil aviation (MOCA) after clearance from Ministry of external affairs (MEA) will issue a note verbal designating the airline.

Slots required from Airport Operator:
While the matter for note verbal is pursued at the Ministry of civil aviation, Slots approval from
airport operator and Airport Authority of India may be obtained. For example – (i) if there are
flights to BLR then BIAL & AAI And (ii) if it is MAA then MAA AAI regional office and then
AAI HQRS (iii)) If there are flights to DEL then DIAL & AAI.

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS):
Submission of the security program. The BCAS provides a template, guidelines, and the Document required to be to prepare the security program.

To submit a Security program the airline will also have to provide a Ground handling agreement, a security agreement, a catering contract, etc., and a qualified Chief Security Officer on the payroll.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA):
As soon as the Airline receives a verbal note designating the airline and approval is received from BCAS. The airline can submit the Application to DGCA parallelly for DGCA to review the documents.

DGCA shall scrutinize all documents and once satisfied, they will issue Operating Authorization.

The Airline then files the schedule. Typically, DGCA requires one month’s notice period for scheduled filing before the commencement date.

India’s status as the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing aviation market presents a significant opportunity for foreign airlines. However, to tap into this potential, foreign airlines must obtain an operating permit or operating authorization from the Indian CAA. The collaborative efforts of stakeholders, along with India’s focus on upgrading airport infrastructure, position the country as an attractive destination for aviation investment. By adhering to the regulatory requirements and obtaining the necessary operating authorization, foreign airlines can seize the opportunities presented by India’s booming aviation sector while contributing to its growth and success.

At BizAv International, we pride ourselves on our team’s extensive experience in assisting foreign airlines with obtaining Operating Authorisation or Operating Permits to commence operations in India. Our dedicated team works diligently to coordinate with various agencies and stakeholders involved in the process of granting operating permits.

Additionally, we provide valuable support to airlines by facilitating the signing of contracts with various agencies such as ground handlers, caterers, security services, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) providers, etc. Our aim is to ensure a seamless and efficient setup of operations for our client airlines.

Furthermore, we understand the importance of recruiting a qualified Chief Security Officer (CSO) in accordance with local requirements. Our expertise in this area allows us to assist airlines in recruiting competent CSO who can deliver exceptional services.

At BizAv International, we are committed to providing comprehensive assistance and support to foreign airlines entering the Indian aviation market. Our goal is to navigate the regulatory landscape and facilitate a successful and compliant launch of operation