The Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified the draft Aircraft Security Rules, 2022.
The new rules will supersede the Aircraft Security Rules, 2011 after Parliament passed the Aircraft Amendment Act, 2020 in September 2020, giving statutory powers to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
The primary responsibilities of BCAS include laying down standards and measures with respect to the security of civil flights at international and domestic airports in India.
The amendment in Parliament was required after the United Nation’s aviation watchdog, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), raised questions about the regulator's functioning without statutory powers.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory body in the field of Civil Aviation, primarily dealing with safety issues. It is responsible for the regulation of air transport.
The BCAS can impose a fine of RS50 lakh to RS1 crore (depending on the size of the company) on airports and airlines if they fail to prepare and implement a security program, or if they commence operations without seeking a security clearance.
Large airports can also face a penalty of Rs1 crore if they fail to plan the design and layout of the airport in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Security Programme.
National Civil Aviation Security Programme:
To protect the safety, regularity, and efficiency of international civil aviation by providing, through regulations, practices, and procedures, the necessary safeguards against unlawful interference.
The NCASP aims to maintain the security of national and foreign operators providing services from civil airports supporting international flights.
The draft rules now authorize airports to engage’ private security agents’ instead of CISF personnel at “non-core areas” and assign security duties per the recommendation of the National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016.
Need of the Initiative:
In order to deal with the cyber security threat
Regularise the functioning of Airports and Air Transportation.
Regulations among concerned government bodies.
National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016:
To create an eco-system to make flying affordable for the masses and to enable 30 crores of domestic ticketing by 2022 and 50 crores by 2027, and international ticketing to increase to 20 crores by 2027.
Similarly, cargo volumes should increase to 10 million tonnes by 2027.
Provide safe, secure, affordable, and sustainable air travel for passengers and air transportation of cargo with access to various parts of India and the world.
Establish an integrated eco-system that will lead to significant growth of the civil aviation sector, which in turn would promote tourism, increase employment and lead to balanced regional development.
Ensure the safety, security, and sustainability of the aviation sector through technology and effective monitoring.
Enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development.
Enhance ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures, and e-governance.
Promote the entire aviation sector chain in a harmonized manner covering cargo, MRO, general aviation, aerospace manufacturing, and skill development.
Ministry of Civil Aviation
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for the formulation of national policies and programs for the development and regulation of the Civil Aviation sector in the country.
It is responsible for the administration of the Aircraft Act, of 1934, Aircraft Rules, of 1937, and various other legislation pertaining to the country's aviation sector.
This Ministry exercises administrative control over attached and autonomous organizations like the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi and affiliated Public Sector Undertakings like Airports Authority of India and Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited.
The Commission of Railway Safety, which is responsible for safety in rail travel and operations in terms of the provisions of the Railways Act, 1989 also comes under the administrative control of this Ministry.