The fatal crash of the Beechcraft King Air C-90, in which Madhavrao Scindia and seven others were travelling, in Bhaisaroli village, Uttar Pradesh, has again raised serious questions about safety and maintenance standards in aircraft used by private operators in the country. The September 30 crash, the sixth this year involving a small aircraft, has only added to allegations that private operators flout norms and compromise on air safety requirements.
With political parties, corporates, the film industry and the domestic tourism trade increasingly preferring the use of chartered aircraft, it's been boom time for the operators. In fact, there are now as many as 39 non-scheduled operators in India with permits from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (dgca). And in all, there are 92 small aircraft and choppers operating now.