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Amendment to Aircraft Rules, 1937: Validity of Pilot License increased from 5 to 10 yrs

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Pilot licence now valid for 10 yearsOn 10th October 2023, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) notified the amendment of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, which will be called asAircraft (First Amendment) Rules, 2023”.  Under this amendment, following the revision of Rule 39C, the validity of the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) holders has been increased from 5 years to 10 years.

  • This aims to reduce administrative burden on pilots and aviation authorities like Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), promoting a more streamlined and efficient licensing process.
  • The amendment is in line with the government’s efforts to further improve the ease of doing business in the aviation sector.


  • The licence will be issued to pilots at the time when their licences are up for renewal.
  • Previously, the pilot licence renewal period was increased from 2 to 5 years in 2014.

Key Updates on Amendment to Aircraft Rules, 1937:

i.The Amendment to the Aircraft Rules, 1937, emphasizes robust industry consultations, enhancing regulatory safety, and security measures.

ii.The amendments align India’s aviation regulations with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), ensuring adherence to international best practices.

iii.Certain reforms, already in effect, include Amendment to the Aircraft (Demolition of Obstructions caused by Buildings and Trees, etc.) Rules, 1994.

Note: By aligning with international aviation norms, these reforms reinforce India’s commitment to maintaining high standards and competitiveness on the global aviation stage.

Government Authority on Hazardous Lights:

i.The Amendment to Aircraft Rules, 1937 introduces key changes under Rule 66, addressing concerns related to the display of “false lights” in the vicinity of an aerodrome.

ii.The New Amendment has extended the scope and power for the government to take action against anyone exhibiting “false lights” like lantern lights, kite lights, and laser lights, in the vicinity of an aerodrome.

  • When lights resembling aeronautical signals are flashed around aerodromes, they can be mistaken for aeronautical ground lights or an aeronautical beacon, posing serious risks to aircraft safety.

iii.The radius of the vicinity around an aerodrome has been increased from 5 kilometers to 5 nautical miles (around 9.2 km).

  • If the misleading lights remain unattended for 24 hours, the government is empowered to enter the location and extinguish them.

iv.The government or authorised individual may also report the matter to the police to take action under Section 281 or 283 or both of the Indian Penal Code (IPCs).

Elimination of Foreign Licence Validation:

i.Additionally, Rule 118 regarding Foreign License validation has been eliminated.

ii.The removal of Rule 118 is aimed at eliminating redundancy in the regulations.

  • The move reflects an adaptation to the changing demands of the aviation industry.

Enhancing Air Traffic Controller License Requirements:

i.The new amendment includes a clause for liberalising the recency and competency requirements under Schedule III for Air Traffic Controller License holders (ATCL).

ii.This amendment allows for increased flexibility, particularly in scenarios with limited movements or watch hours.

iii.ATCL holders are now required to complete a minimum of ten hours of simulated exercises, including handling emergency situations.

  • Following the exercises, a skill assessment for their respective rating must be undertaken within ten consecutive days of commencing these exercises.

Recent related News:

On August 29, 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of India and the Government of New Zealand for an Open Sky Policy, allowing more flights between various cities in the 2 countries.

About Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA):
Union Minister– Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (Rajya Sabha Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– General (Retd.) Vijay Kumar Singh (Constituency- Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)