File No. 26/14/98-IR

The following Circular is issued under Rule 133A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 for information, guidance and compliance.

  ( H.S. Khola )

Director General of Civil Aviation




  Use of foreign leased aircraft by Indian operators is increasing day by day. For effective surveillance and safety oversight, maintenance and operation of such aircraft should be under the regulatory control of Indian authorities. With that objective in view, operation of foreign leased aircraft by Indian operators is normally permitted on dry lease basis, which requires the aircraft to be registered in India. However, to overcome sudden shortage of capacity in domestic air transport operations, the Government have approved the following guidelines for import of aircraft on short-term wet-lease basis and for simultaneously ensuring safety of such operation.

1. Import of aircraft for domestic air transport operations on wet lease basis shall not be permitted except in emergency situations and circumstances mentioned below :

    1. Existing aircraft of an operator is grounded for maintenance/inspection/ checks or any other unforeseen reasons. In such cases, wet leasing shall be permitted only for the duration of grounding of aircraft. The period of wet leasing will include transportation period required to and fro for replacement aircraft.
    2. Existing aircraft is involved in some accident/incident resulting in reduction in capacity of the operator.
    3. There is reduction of capacity due to expiry of lease and delay in finalisation of new lease agreement.
    4. For revival of sick operators who should have an agreement with the lessor initially for wet lease for a period not exceeding six months and thereafter automatic conversion to dry lease for the remaining period of lease.
    5. Short term induction of capacity required to meet any emergency such as natural calamity, industrial unrest or any other similar situation.

2. There shall be no addition to the capacity by virtue of the wet leasing. Wet leased aircraft permitted to be inducted in the fleet of an operator shall not be allowed to operate more than the number of seats available in the aircraft to be replaced so as to ensure that the induction of capacity by this route does not result in unintended additional capacity.

3. The wet leased aircraft operations shall be subject to the control of DGCA with regard to operation, maintenance and safety aspects.

  1. The serial number, age and other technical details of the aircraft shall be furnished by the operator to the DGCA.
  2. The aircraft should not be older than 15 years since manufacture.

6. The aircraft should be free from any accident. In case of any incident involving the aircraft, details of the incident shall be furnished to DGCA.

7. The aircraft should have been type-certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration of USA or the Joint Airworthiness Authority of Europe or the Civil Aviation Authority of UK or by any other authority acceptable to DGCA. DGCA may stipulate additional airworthiness requirements considered necessary for safe operation of aircraft in India which must be complied with before the aircraft is imported or operated in India.

8. The maintenance personnel shall follow the applicable maintenance procedures and requirements laid down in the Maintenance System Manual of the Indian operator.

9. The flight crew shall adhere to the Operations Manual of the Indian operator, if the type of aircraft is operated in India.

10. The flight crew and the maintenance personnel shall also follow the instructions issued by the Indian operator and the DGCA and in case of any violation, they shall be liable to be debarred from operating or maintaining the wet lease aircraft in India.

11. The lessor should hold a valid and current Operating Permit or Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for the type of operations proposed to be conducted in India.

  1. There should be a well defined agreement between the lessor and the lessee stipulating that the Indian operator and the DGCA India shall have the right to exercise airworthiness and operational control on the wet leased aircraft and their operations.
  2. The lessee shall provide a copy of the lease agreement to the DGCA.

14. The regulatory authority of the State of registry shall agree for surveillance of the aircraft operations and maintenance by DGCA India. The operator shall furnish a letter from the concerned regulatory authority to this effect.

15. The DGCA may stipulate such additional requirements as considered necessary with a view to ensure safety of the aircraft operations. The lessor and the lessee shall comply with such requirements.

16. The applicable conditions stipulated in the Civil Aviation Requirements, Section 3, Air Transport, Series C, Part-I as amended from time to time shall be complied with by the lessor and the lessee.

17. The lessor shall give an undertaking that he will comply with all the applicable requirements as set out above.

18. The DGCA may withdraw permission for operation of an aircraft under wet lease if during service it is found that airworthiness and safety of the aircraft operations is in doubt or the requirements stipulated above or any other safety rules or regulations are not being complied with.