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Federation of Indian Pilots writes to the DGCA about the non-distribution of space weather advisories to flight crew

Published : Apr 29, 2022 18:13 IST T+T-
Inside the cockpit of a Boeing 737.

Inside the cockpit of a Boeing 737.

The 6,000-strong Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) has written to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about the non-distribution of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard “Space Weather Advisories” to air operators and flight crews. The DGCA is India’s regulatory body in the field of civil aviation, primarily dealing with air safety issues, enforcement of civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards.

In a letter dated April 29 and signed by Captain Surinder Mehta, president, FIP, the Federation has highlighted the fact that some providers of flight briefing packages to flight crews do not provide the weather advisories as provided for in ICAO’s Annex 3, Chapter 9, 9.1.3 k.

Annex 3, Chapter 9 clearly provides detailed standards and recommended practices for providing meteorological information to air operators and flight crew members for pre-flight planning, in-flight re-planning, use by flight crew members before departure and in the aircraft during flight.

The FIP has asked the DGCA “to issue necessary directions to air operators of long-haul flights to ensure the distribution of ‘Space Weather Advisories’ to flight crew members”.

This, according to the FIP, will go “a long way in ensuring flight safety”.

One pilot told Frontline that while the non-distribution of the weather briefings did not majorly hinder operations, such meteorological advisories go a long way in enhancing flight safety.

Several private operators in India provide flight-briefing packages to the airlines. A pilot disclosed that flight-briefing packages with space advisories cost more and hence some airlines might be entering into contracts with flight briefing providers without the space weather advisories.