• India
  • Jun 22

DGCA issues advisory to promote gender equality

• The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory circular on ‘Gender Equality in Civil Aviation Sector’ for stakeholders to increase the number of women in various positions to ensure 25 per cent representation by 2025. 

• The circular is in line with the principle of gender equality enshrined in the Indian Constitution and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) vision to promote equal opportunities to achieve gender equality in aviation.

• The ICAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for aviation standards and regulations, has published several reports and guidelines on gender equality in aviation. 

• Multiple initiatives have been taken over a period of time to increase women participation in the civil aviation sector by creating a pool of women aviation professionals through a special focus on young school girls, especially from low-income families. 

• As a result of such initiatives, the country has significantly more women pilots than the global average.

• There is a significant upswing in the enrolment of women pilots in India. 

• In the year 2023, the total number of commercial pilot’s licence (CPL) issued is 1,622, of which 294 CPLs were issued to women (18 per cent of total CPLs issued).

• It shows an increase of 22 per cent in the number of CPLs issued to women in the year 2023, compared to the year 2022 (240 CPLs). 

• At present the total number of women pilots employed with various Indian scheduled and non-scheduled operators is about 14 per cent of the total flight crew strength. 

Key points of the circular:

• The circular lists various steps that can be taken by the stakeholders to improve their policies and practices to address the issues of gender equality at the workplace.

The stakeholders are advised to:

i) Promote enhanced representation of women in the aviation workforce.

ii) Introduce leadership and mentorship programmes for women in the organisation.

iii) Address the issue of stereotypes and gender bias.

iv) Promote a better work-life balance for women employees.

Other steps include:

i) Adopting zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment.

ii) Identifying diversity objectives and formulating HR policies to achieve the same.

iii) Diversifying the work profiles of women employees.

iv) Highlighting women role models/achievers and other facilitative steps that promote a gender inclusive work culture.

v) Using gender neutral and non-discriminatory language.

vi) Developing suitable programmes to hire women back after break in service due to parenting needs.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)

• The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory body in the field of civil aviation primarily dealing with safety issues. 

• It has been accorded with statutory status by Aircraft Amendment Act, 2020.

• It is responsible for regulation of air transport services to/from/within India and for enforcement of civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards.

• It coordinates all regulatory functions with the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

• The headquarters are located in New Delhi with regional offices in various parts of India.

• To keep the statutory provisions abreast with the international standards and the latest developments in the sphere of civil aviation, Aircraft (Amendment) Act, 2020 has been enacted and provisions relating to imposition of financial penalties and compounding of offences have been inserted in the Aircraft Rules, 1937. 

• New rules namely the Drone Rules, 2021 have been promulgated to regulate the drone sector.

Functions of DGCA: 

• Regulation of air transport services to/from/within India in accordance with the provisions of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, including bilateral and multilateral agreements with foreign countries and the policy pronouncements of the government.

• Registration of civil aircraft.

• Laying down airworthiness requirements for civil aircraft registered in India and grant of Certificate of Airworthiness to such aircraft.

• Licensing of pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and monitoring of flight crew standards.

• Licensing of aerodromes and air carriers.

• Rendering advice to the government on matters pertaining to civil aviation.

• Processing amendments to Aircraft Act, 1934 and the Aircraft Rules 1937, and other Acts and rules thereunder relating to aviation, for their implementation in India, the provisions of the Chicago Convention and Annexes thereto, and other International Conventions relating to aviation.

• Coordination of the work relating to the International Civil Aviation Organisation and replies to State Letters after consulting stakeholders, wherever necessary including consultation with other agencies.

• Investigation of air accidents and incidents and rendering technical assistance to the Courts/ Committees of Inquiry.

• Regulation and supervision of training activities of flying/gliding clubs.

• Type certification of aircraft.

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