The FAA has released new pilot training guidelines to resolve manual flying shortcomings

Sakshi Jain

23 Nov 2022

The FAA has made guidelines to make sure pilots are prepared to operate highly automated aircraft safely and effectively without relying too much on technology.

The FAA report makes suggestions to help pilots develop their manual flight operations skills and keep them from becoming overly reliant on automation

The report is an advisory circular that focuses on "flightpath management," which is a general phrase for the planning, execution and assurance of proper aircraft trajectory and energy.

“Flightpath management is especially important in operating aeroplanes with highly automated systems. Even when an aeroplane is on autopilot, the flight crew should always be aware of the aircraft’s flightpath and be able to intervene if necessary.”


The report includes no requirements. Instead, it offers advice and recommendations which will assist pilots in acquiring and maintaining manual flight operations abilities and preventing them from becoming unduly dependent on automation.

The document addresses four risk categories: manual flight operations, automation management, pilot-monitoring duties and aircraft energy management.

Additionally, airline operating procedures ought to encourage pilots to fly the plane manually, possibly for the duration of the flight and at least occasionally during the entire takeoff and landing phases.

The FAA report's 4 main categories include: Manual Flight Operations, Automation Management, Pilot-Monitoring Duties and Aircraft Energy Management

It is advised that airlines give special attention to instructing pilots on how to deal with automated systems, making sure they are aware of known system flaws and the particular flight circumstances in which such systems should not be employed due to the possibility of such failures.

“Training on failures should consider operationally relevant situations and should include failures of items that provide input to the automated systems. Examples include situations where assessment is difficult, situations where recovery is difficult if not properly recognised, and conditions that do not have a checklist.”

–FAA released document

Additionally, the statement exhorts airlines to guarantee that training effectively covers the crucial pilot task of flight path and flight-deck monitoring.

Pilots ought to receive training in "progressive intervention strategies," or how to bring up issues with copilots. These tactics ought to include disclosing flightpath deviations, recommending fixes, and "then directly intervening," like taking the controls.

Moreover, the FAA advises airlines to take steps to ensure that pilots are knowledgeable about and skilled in "energy management," which includes planning and controlling speed, altitude, thrust, and trajectory. It states that such training should cover particular flight situations, such as light takeoffs, low-altitude level-offs, and flying at an aircraft's maximum permissible altitude.

In response to the 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019, numerous regulations were introduced by the 2020 law with the goal of enhancing aviation safety. It featured provisions aimed at enhancing pilot training and proficiency and called for a review of the FAA's certification programmes. 

On 29 October 2018, the Boeing 737 MAX operating the route crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew

After the two Max crashes, complaints about pilot performance surfaced. Investigators pointed out pilot errors while attributing the crashes to a malfunctioning flight-control system.

“Flight path management is at the core of the concern that I have.”

–Steve Dickson, former FAA administrator said in 2021

According to the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) suggestion in reaction to the 2013 Asian crash in San Francisco, which claimed three lives, is also addressed in the revised training guidelines. 

The NTSB blamed the incident on crew errors, notably a pilot's incorrect belief about how the jet's auto-throttle worked. Thus, the FAA report is focused on managing flight paths and enhancing pilot training altogether.

(With inputs from Flight Global)

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SpiceXpress spin-off is now approved by the creditors of SpiceJet

Radhika Bansal

23 Nov 2022

Creditor banks have indicated they will issue no-objection certificates and allow SpiceJet to transfer all of its cargo and logistics operations to SpiceXpress and establish the cargo business as a separate entity, according to Ch-Aviation.

In August, SpiceJet foreshadowed the move, saying it would allow the cargo carrier to grow independently of the struggling parent airline.

ALSO READ - SpiceJet hives profit-making arm SpiceXpress into a separate entity

While SpiceXpress will operate as a separate entity, SpiceJet will continue to provide certain transportation services, ground and logistics support, management services, sharing and provisioning of resources etc. to SpiceXpress.


SpiceJet said all related assets and liabilities, including, know-how, trademark, licenses, franchises, customer contracts and distribution network of cargo and logistics business would be transferred to SpiceXpress.

SpiceXpress recently posted revenues of INR 20.6 billion (USD252.8 million) in the three months to September 30, 2022, and a net profit of INR 2.12 billion (USD26 million) from transporting 27,675 tonnes of cargo. In contrast, SpiceJet reported a multi-billion quarterly net loss.

In addition to utilizing belly hold space in its fleet of 78 passenger aircraft (only 39 are active), SpiceJet also operates a fleet of three B737-700(BDSF)s and two (presently inactive) B737-800(BCF)s under the SpiceXpress brand.

SpiceJet foreshadowed the move, saying it would allow the cargo carrier to grow independently of the struggling parent airline.

ALSO READ - SpiceJet’s cargo business separation plan challenged by the lessors

Meanwhile, SpiceJet, which has spent much of 2022 fending off insolvency claims from disgruntled creditors and received USD122 million in emergency government funding as recently as October, is on the hunt for further capital.

ALSO READ - SpiceJet and Go First to get funds under modified ECLGS

Last week, ch-aviation reported that the airline's board had approved the raising of an unspecified amount of fresh capital through the issue of eligible securities to qualified institutional buyers. ch-aviation has contacted SpiceJet for further details on this and their plans for SpiceXpress.

(With Inputs from ch-aviation)

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HAL to increase helicopter production to meet export targets

Sakshi Jain

23 Nov 2022

HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) has added a new plant in Karnataka for helicopter production, with the expectation to meet export targets.

HAL has established a new facility in Tumakuru, Karnataka, for the manufacture of helicopters, which will soon begin operations. The company has a plant here where it can build up to 60 helicopters, and it also has one in Bengaluru where it can build up to 30 aircraft annually.

In the near future, HAL may produce up to 90 helicopters annually, depending on the type and demand of the aircraft

“Depending on the type and requirement of the helicopters, the company could manufacture up to 90 helicopters per annum in the near future.”

–CB Ananthakrishnan, CMD, HAL

Ananthakrishnan also talked about the prospects and openings for India's significant defence localisation drive.

The Tejas manufacturing program's second line has also been put into action. By outsourcing a large portion of the work packages to the four biggest private sector vendors, HAL is also attempting to develop the private ecosystem.

For the second quarter of the current fiscal year, the corporation provided some solid financial results. At over Rs 8,400 crore, the order book appears to be very strong. For the first six months of the current fiscal year FY23, the repair overhaul and manufacturing ratio are 60:40. The upcoming year is also anticipated to see a continuation of this trend.

HAL's repair overhaul and manufacturing ratio for the first half of the current fiscal year FY23 is 60:40. This tendency is expected to continue in the future year as well!

“FY25 onwards the manufacturing contracts will get executed and then the ratio will change. For FY25 the repair overhaul and manufacturing ratio are expected to be at 50:50.”

–CB Ananthakrishnan, CMD, HAL

During the last few months, HAL has signed various contracts with different countries as well as with India’s defence. 

In January 2022, HAL and the Government of Mauritius (GoM) inked a deal for the export of one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Mk III) for the Mauritius Police Force, in keeping with the Government's objective to increase defence exports to friendly foreign countries.

HAL and the Government of Mauritius (GoM) entered into a deal for the sale of one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Mk III) for the Mauritius Police Force

In April 2022, Six officers of the Nigerian Army Aviation will receive Phase-II flying training on the Chetak Helicopter thanks to a contract that HAL inked with the Nigerian Army. This represents the continuation of a contract for the successful completion of Phase-I flight instruction for six Nigerian Army aviation officers that was signed in April 2021.

In March 2022, at the Wings India-2022 event in Hyderabad, an Intent of Cooperation (IOC) was signed between HAL and PHL for the purchase or long-term lease of 20 helicopters, 10 of which will be civil variants of the ALH Dhruv and Light Utility Helicopters.

An Intent of Cooperation (IOC) was signed between HAL and PHL for the purchase or long-term lease of 20 helicopters

This would also improve the helicopter industry in India's civil aviation market and create synergy between HAL and PHL.

In April 2022, HAL was awarded a contract for the manufacturing of 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) at a price of Rs 3,887 crores, of which 10 will be produced for the Indian Air Force and five will be produced for the Indian Army.

For the fiscal year that concluded on March 31, 2022, HAL had its highest-ever revenue of approximately Rs. 24,000 crores (provisional and unaudited), representing a 6% revenue increase over the prior fiscal year. A year before, 22,755 crores was the corresponding amount.

The business delivered some impressive financial results for the second quarter of the current fiscal year as well. More contracts, more production and more exports are on their way!

(With inputs from CNBC-TV18)

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Air India becomes the most punctual airline in October in 8 years

Radhika Bansal

23 Nov 2022

Air India turned out to be the most punctual airline in October while Go First was at the bottom in the list of airlines with regard to on-time performance during the month. The OTP data was for four domestic airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. A flight is considered punctual if it leaves within 15 minutes of its scheduled time.

Since 2014, Air India hasn't topped the OTP chart for even a single month and would regularly report disappointing figures for departures. In October 2019, its OTP was 54.3%.

Air India posted 90.8% on-time performance (OTP) in October, beating all other Indian carriers for the first time in many years, followed by Vistara and AirAsia recording on-time performance of 89.1% during October, according to the monthly data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday, October 22.

ALSO READ - Air India beats IndiGo in the on-time performance in September

Air India becomes the most punctual airline in October in 8 years

After winning the bid on October 8, 2021, the Tata Group took over Air India on January 27. Six months later, Singapore Airlines veteran Campbell Wilson took charge as chief executive officer and managing director of Air India. One of his first pushes was to improve the airline's OTP.

Mr. Wilson communicated with the airline's integrated operations control center (IOCC) to report directly to him and give recommendations on improving on-time performance. Wilson inherited an airline that has largely been neglected for years. Sources say he's been busy keeping a close eye on daily losses and fixing systems bogging down the airline.

ALSO READ - Air India issues several guidelines to cabin crew to enhance on-time performance

One of the first things the Tatas wanted to improve with Air India was its customer experience. Timely departures, good seats, and in-flight entertainment screens that actually work are all being looked at. And while there's still some time before we can expect better aircraft interiors, it's good to see the remarkable progress made in the punctuality department, all within a year of the new owners taking charge.

When Air India was a government-run airline, it generally used to be at the bottom of DGCA's OTP list.

When Air India was a government-run airline, it generally used to be at the bottom of DGCA's OTP list. Not only did the airline beat others in OTP terms in October, but it also crossed the landmark of flying more than 1 million domestic passengers in a month after a long time. Air India flew 1.03 million domestic passengers in October, according to the DGCA data.

Similarly, IndiGo recorded an on-time performance of 87.5% followed by government-run Alliance Air with an on-time performance of 74.5%. While Spicjet had an on-time performance of 68.9%. Go First was at the bottom with on-time performance of 60.7% during the month.

Meanwhile, Go First's domestic passengers fell for the second consecutive month in October. Almost half of Go First's aircraft fleet is currently grounded due to engine supply and maintenance issues.

ALSO READ - Go First grounds over a fifth of its fleet due to delayed deliveries of engines by Pratt & Whitney

As per DGCA, analysis disclosed that the majority of delays (nearly 68%) were caused due to 'Reactionary' reasons.

As per DGCA, analysis disclosed that the majority of delays (nearly 68%) were caused due to 'Reactionary' reasons. Delay caused by late arrival of aircraft, crew, passengers or baggage from previous journeys come under Reactionary category.

So far as market share is concerned, IndiGo flew ahead of other airlines during the October month with 56.7% share in the domestic aviation sector. Vistara secured second slot with a market share of 9.2%. As per the latest data, of the aviation regulator, Indigo carried 64.71 lakh air passengers during the month while Vistara carried 10.49 lakh air passengers.

ALSO READ - Akasa Air had a 53% occupancy rate in its first month of operations

The latest entrant Akasa Air recorded a market share of 1.4% in October, up from 0.9% in September. The market share of AirAsia India rose to 7.6% from 5.9% in September. Air India and Vistara recorded a slight dip in market share to 9.1% and 9.2% in October from 9.2% and 9.6%, respectively, in September.

Indian carriers flew 11.4 million domestic passengers in October this year with about a 27% jump year-on-year.

In passenger load factor (PLF) or capacity utilisation, almost all major airlines recorded an increase except Akasa Air. The passenger load factor for IndiGo rose to 82.1% from 81.4% in September. SpiceJet also witnessed an increase in capacity utilisation to 88.1% from 85.8%.

For Tata group airlines, the PLF rose to 82.7% from 79.6% for Air India and to 84.2% from 77% for AirAsia India. Vistara witnessed a marginal increase to 85.5% from 85.4% in September. Akasa Air recorded a dip in capacity utilisation to 77.5% in October from 81.2% in September.

As per the DGCA, passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-October 2022 were 9.88 crore as against 6.20 crore during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering annual growth of 59.16% and monthly growth of 26.95%.

The data said, nearly 1.14 crore passengers were carried by the domestic airlines during October in the country as against 89.85 lakh during the same period last year. Indian carriers flew 11.4 million domestic passengers in October this year with about a 27% jump year-on-year.

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Air India hits with Pilot & Cabin Crew shortage as it plans to expand internationally

Sakshi Jain

23 Nov 2022

Air India is struggling with a labour crisis and is in serious need of skilled and experienced pilots to support its expansion plans in the international sky.

Also read: Air India to broaden its network in the US

The 20 new weekly flights Air India has announced for Birmingham, London, and San Francisco will require about 200 senior pilots to operate.

For the additional long-distance routes, Air India is adding more wide-body aircraft to its fleet, including five Boeing 777s. It is also re-adding several of its wide-body aircraft that were grounded previously. However, more pilots would be needed for the introduction of these aircraft, and it can be difficult to locate qualified pilots for a plane like B777 in the domestic market. Only Air India and Vistara now run a wide-body fleet of Boeing 777 and 787 planes.

Also read: Air India starts discussing aircraft orders; to introduce a premium economy class in long-haul flights

For its wide-body Boeing 777 fleet, Air India needs to hire about 100 pilots

Sources claim that Air India, controlled by the Tata group, will acquire foreign pilots to operate its Boeing 777 aircraft in order to address a pilot shortage brought on by plans to grow both its fleet and its overseas operations.

In order to employ roughly 100 pilots for its wide-body Boeing 777 fleet, the carrier, according to the sources, has gotten in touch with a number of organisations that assist airlines in finding ex-pat flight crew. Pilots are more expensive to hire abroad than they are in India.

Additionally, more ultra-long-haul flights would necessitate more cabin crew. According to sources, to operate on the extra flights to the US and UK, the airline would need between 900 and 1,000 more crew members.

The airline would require between 900 and 1,000 more crew members to operate on the additional flights to the US and UK, according to sources

It has been reported that the situation has gotten worse as more than 450 crew members have chosen to retire voluntarily, with their release date set for November 30. Due to the airline's inability to locate replacements at this time, it has given the retiring crew the option to stay on for an additional two months.

According to sources, the airline trained roughly 200 crew members since the Tata Group took ownership, but they haven't yet deployed it.  This is due to the fact that these crew members lack the proper paperwork, such as a US visa, which is a need for deployment on flights to the US and beyond.

Since the Tata Group acquired ownership of Air India, about 200 crew members have been trained; however, they have not yet been deployed

“Air India was already facing a shortage of pilots and the recent announcement of the induction of 5 Boeing 777 planes in the next four months and new flights to the US have added to this shortage.”


A Mumbai-based employment firm recently posted a job listing for international pilots.

Vacancies for Boeing 777 Line Captains are available at Air India, and they will be hired on a one-year contract.

The contract states that the promised salary is USD 11,500 per month (exclusive of taxes), benefits are included, and a payment of USD 133.30 is made for each hour of flying that exceeds 70 hours.

Air India has announced the launch of nonstop flights from Mumbai to San Francisco, New York, and Newark. Flights from Bengaluru to San Francisco will also start within the next few weeks. 

Air India has announced the launch of nonstop flights from Mumbai to San Francisco, New York, and Newark

Also read: Air India to start direct flights between Mumbai-San Francisco

According to Campbell Wilson, CEO of Air India, the airline is implementing its long-term resuscitation strategy, and over the next five years, it plans to expand both its wide-body and narrow-body fleet sizes as well as its global network.

(With inputs from CNBC-TV18)

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Air India to broaden its network in the US

Sakshi Jain

22 Nov 2022

Air India has announced the launch of two new US routes from Mumbai (BOM), as the number of continuous flights between India and North America keeps expanding.

Air India is all set to expand its India-US networks

On December 15, Air India will start offering three weekly flights to San Francisco (SFO). Along with its 10-weekly Delhi (DEL) operation and its 3-weekly service from Bengaluru (BLR), which resumes on December 2, the route will become the airline's third to the US city. Additionally, reservations are now being taken for daily flights starting on February 14, 2023, from Mumbai to New York John F. Kennedy (JFK). This will be made available along with its current 3-weekly flights to Newark Liberty (EWR).

Also read: Air India to start direct flights between Mumbai-San Francisco

The Tata Group-owned airline decided to lease 30 new aircraft in September to expand its domestic and international operations over the following 15 months.

In addition to 21 Airbus A320neos and four A321neos, the contract called for five Boeing 777-200LRs to be delivered between December 2022 and March 2023. 777-200LR aircraft will be used on both the new San Francisco and New York JFK routes.

“In addition to restoring long-grounded aircraft, we have finalised leases for 30 additional aircraft being delivered over the next 12 months – starting next week – with more in the final stages of negotiation.”

–Campbell Wilson, CEO, Air India

The airline now operates 113 aircraft, both narrow-body and wide-body Airbus and Boeing models.

Currently, the airline has 113 aircraft in its fleet, including wide- and narrow-body Airbus and Boeing models

Also read: Air India leases 6 Airbus A320 NEOs from CDB Aviation

In the market for nonstop flights between Mumbai and San Francisco, Air India will be the lone provider. According to Sabre Market Intelligence statistics, 138,090 two-way passengers, all of whom travelled indirectly, made up the total O&D traffic between the destinations in 2019. This comes out to around 189 travellers daily going both ways.

Air India's departing Newark flight is now the sole nonstop route running between Mumbai and New York. With the addition of JFK, there will be 10 weekly round trips connecting the two locations, with 2,052 more seats readily available for travel in each direction.

Air India has experience operating the route between Mumbai and New York JFK, having done so between December 2018 and March 2019. 

In order to develop Air India into a top-tier airline, Wilson is in charge of a five-year transformation programme, called This includes immediate actions like repairing grounded aircraft, enhancing cabin design, and making investments in future aircraft and technological advancements.

Campbell Wilson, CEO of Air India, is in charge of a five-year transformation programme, called

Also read: Air India unveils Vihaan – a comprehensive 5-year transformation plan

Also read: What is the plan of Air India for the next 5 years?

On domestic flights, the airline has updated its in-flight menu, and it will do the same for flights internationally. As Air India starts introducing the Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft, premium economy service would be introduced in the following month.

“We have expanded both domestically and internationally, including more flights to Vancouver, Sydney and Melbourne. We now operate non-stop to London from 7 Indian cities. From Mumbai, we’ll be adding new non-stop service to San Francisco, New York and Newark starting in a few weeks.”

––Campbell Wilson, CEO of Air India said at a JRD Tata Memorial Trust event

Wilson also recalled the heydey of Air India, when it was renowned for its first-rate service and the contributions it made to the development of other airlines throughout the globe.

(With inputs from Routes Online)