The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued guidelines for airlines that plan to transport cargo such as medical equipment and essential goods using their commercial passenger aircraft.
“Considering the extraordinary situation the country is facing, permission maybe given to scheduled and non-scheduled operators to use the available passenger category aircraft (without configuration change) for carriage of cargo” under certain conditions,” the DGCA circular said.
The circular noted that permission must be taken first from Flight Standards and Airworthiness directorate and then with Air Transport directorate in the DGCA.
“Carriage of dangerous goods, including lithium batteries, oxygen canister shall not be allowed,” the regulator noted.
If the airline plans to use passenger compartment to carry cargo, it has to make sure that it is in approved stowage locations such as closets and overhead bins, provided the load limitations are met, the DGCA advisory said.
Any cargo on seats or under the seats shall be permitted only after specific permission taken in this regard from the regulator, the advisory circular said.
To stow items on seats, the aircraft operator would have to submit various details to the aviation regulator, including weight limitation of the seat, details of specific box that would be on the seat and procedure that would be followed to restrain that item on the seat.