This is the first time that the regulator has mooted duty time limits for Air Traffic Services (ATS) personnel and it also comes at a time when air traffic has been growing exponentially.
ATS comprises Air Traffic Management and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (ANS).
Duty period will not exceed 12 hours and "the aggregate of duty period will not exceed 50 hours within a defined period of 144 consecutive hours or six consecutive days, according to the draft norms.
The proposal is part of the draft Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on 'Watch duty time limitations and rest requirements of air traffic services personnel engaged in air traffic services'.
The watchdog has suggested that the aggregate of the duty period will not exceed 200 hours within a defined period of 720 consecutive hours or 30 consecutive days.
An ATS personnel would not perform duty for more than two hours without at least half an hour break at airports having round-the-clock-operations or the number of aircraft movements are more than 50 per cent of the stated capacity or flight arrival rate, as per the draft rules.
The DGCA has also proposed that the night duty to be restricted to 12 hours with a ceiling of three consecutive duties at a time.
"A minimum period of 48 hours will occur between the end of duties which cover all or part of the period of night duty and the commencement of the next period of duty," the regulator has suggested.
As part of complying with the ICAO norms, the Civil Aviation Ministry has started the process to entrust licensing of air traffic controllers to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). At present, the licensing is done by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).