Aviation regulator DGCA today suspended the operating permit of private helicopter firm Global Vectra Helicorp Limited whose promoter Ravi Rishi is under the CBI scanner in the controversial Tatra truck deal with the army.
"Their permit has been suspended," official sources told PTI, days after the Home Ministry withdrew its security clearance and recommended to the Civil Aviation Ministry to annul the non-scheduled operator permit (NSOP) of the company.
A top civil aviation ministry official said the Home Ministry's decision and the direction was forwarded to the DGCA late last week.
The suspension of the NSOP would lead to grounding of the entire chopper operations of the company and affect the oil and gas industry.
With a fleet of 23 choppers, the company flies onshore and offshore operations for oil companies, besides catering to tourist travels in the Northeast and operating chopper flights to major shrines like Vaishno Devi and during Amarnath Yatra.
Oil companies, who have operating platforms on the high seas, depend on the services of players like Global Vectra and state-run Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited to shuttle engineers and other staff to the oil rigs and back.
Civil Aviation Ministry sources said there could be some temporary impact on the operations of the oil firms but they could switch over these operations to other service providers.
Pawan Hans, which has 45 helicopters, could operate additional flights to meet the vacuum created by the suspension of Global Vectra's operations, they said, adding the Ministry has already held consultations with Pawan Hans on the issue.
Ravinder Kumar Rishi of the Vectra Group resigned from the directorship of the company in November last and his daughter, Swati Rishi, was inducted in the company Board.
Ravi Rishi and the Vectra Group is being investigated by CBI in connection with the sourcing of Tatra trucks to the Indian armed forces.