Ministries of civil aviation, defence mull joint management of air space

New Delhi: The ministries of civil aviation (MoCA) and defence (MoD) are mulling a proposal for joint management of air space in the country. The country's air space is divided into six zones, at least half of which is currently under the control of the MoD.

Defence control automatically ensures that civilian air traffic operates under a certain amount of restraint, which is turning out to be a burden in more ways than one for carriers and passengers. It also adds to the cost of operations. 

According to the proposal, forwarded to the MoD by the MoCA, Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) of both the civil aviation and defence ministries would jointly manage the Flight Information Region (FIR).

The proposal has already been put into practise in the southern zone, at Chennai, where joint management by the civil and defence ATCOs already exists.
According to the MoCA officials, the joint management of air space in the southern zone will be improvised upon and will be taken forward with other zones in the country.