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India has scaled down the scope of cooperation between Indian and French aviation regulators, according to sources associated with proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) and the French Civil Aviation Authority.
The final MOU text, which was approved by the Cabinet on 1st June 2016, has dropped two earlier proposals. These are: 1) Setting up an Academy of Civil Aviation (ACA) for DGCA and 2) Undertaking studies in the field of civil aviation. These planned initiatives were specified as the objectives in the first MOU that lapsed in February 2014 after completion of its four-year validity. 
These objectives have been substituted with two generic ones: Training of personnel engaged in different segments of aviation and “any other subject” that is of mutual interest to DGCA and French Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC).
MOU envisages achievement of the two objectives through three initiatives. These are: a) By exchanging information concerning the various techniques used to reach the objectives; b) By sending French experts or instructors to India for training missions; and c) By receiving experts, or instructors of India, in France for training missions.
The revised MOU thus does not contain the fourth initiative that figured in the previous one envisaging assistance to DGCA in setting up ACA.  Sources say that regulatory authorities from both countries have agreed to make these changes in the previous MOU. 
DGCA website is yet to reflect the updated status of this aborted ACA initiative. The Website says: “French DGAC is also assisting DGCA in the establishment of its Training Academy in collaboration with AAI, where DGAC will provide cooperation with their National School of Aviation (ENAC), located at Toulouse. A steering Committee has been formalized to establish long term technical co-operation.”
It adds: “France has been a partner in Indian aviation activities for a very long time. It has offered several cooperation programs in the past, individually and also under the EU umbrella. Activities included operational areas, airworthiness, licensing, special operations like RVSM, ETOPS, Low Visibility Operations, Lease & interchange of aircraft, accident and incident investigation and certification of large aircraft and rotorcraft etc.”
Sources say that DGCA-DGAC MOU is being revived with four-year validity with interest shown by both entities. They are expected to sign the MOU after its approval by both the Governments.
Meanwhile, the work on setting up of The Indian Aviation Academy (IAA) at New Delhi is continuing. 
According to Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Outcome Budget for 2016-17, IAA was formed as an autonomous body in July, 2010 under the Societies Registration Act 1860 with Airports Authority of India (AAI), DGCA and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) as stakeholders.”
It says: “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed amongst AAI, DGCA & BCAS to develop it as a “Centre for Global Excellence in areas of education, training and research in Aviation in Asia Pacific Region. The aim is to develop it as a Deemed University in due course”.
 

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