The Indian embassy has published a list of revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) for chartered flights to different destinations in India.

A large number of stranded Indians have been repatriated so far on chartered flights, hired by companies and community organisations, as well as through the Indian government’s Vande Bharat Mission.

Following are the revised SOPs for organising chartered flights:

1. The companies/community organisations that wish to organise a chartered flight need to identify a suitable charter operator/air transport operator (ATO) on their own.

2. ATOs will send a flight proposal along with the passenger manifest to the embassy in order to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) for operating the flight. The proposal submitted by the organisation should include two annexures: the state clearance proforma and passenger details in the prescribed Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) format. All the passengers should be registered on the embassy website and should have an EOID number.

3. After the NOC is issued, the passenger manifest is uploaded by the embassy on the MEA repatriation portal after verification.

4. Thereafter, the ATO or the community organisation (or company) concerned will proceed to get the state clearance in writing for the flight. The embassy will facilitate liaison with the state-level officers concerned for co-ordination purposes. The list of such officers will be shared in due course.

5. Based on the state clearance and the embassy’s NOC, the ATO will directly approach the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for flight clearance.

The concerns of the state government, in terms of payment towards arrangements for institutionalised quarantine, transportation, etc need to be adequately addressed, wherever applicable.

A local contact person of the company or organisation in the destination state needs to be mentioned in the proposal, and that person will be responsible for local co-ordination of quarantine payment arrangements, etc.

The responsibility of obtaining state/DGCA clearances rests with the ATO, while the embassy will assist in obtaining Ministry of Interior (Qatar) clearance appropriately.

The details of flight departure/delay/rescheduling need to be shared with the embassy on a real-time basis for updating on the MEA system and for the information of the authorities concerned in the Indian government and state authorities.

The list of revised SOPs has been posted on the embassy’s Twitter page.

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