Keeping the ongoing countrywide lockdown in view to contain the spread of coronavirus, India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to extend the validity of pilots’ licenses by 90 days.

Similarly, the 90 days extension has also been extended to foreign aircrew temporary authorization (FATA), aircraft rating certificates, and medical assessment certificates, and others.

“DGCA is aware that operators and individual license holders are facing issues in completing their requirements towards renewal, issuance of various pilot licenses and ratings and to exercise the privileges of their respective licenses and ratings including temporary authorizations (FATA),” the regulator stated in a public notice on Friday.

FATA stands for foreign aircrew temporary authorization, which is issued to foreign pilots that are working for Indian airlines.

“Due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), restrictions have been imposed by the government. Owing to this, several training organisations utilised for the training of flight crew, conduct of checks have been affected and shut down in many places,” the aviation watchdog said in a circular.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on 21-day complete lockdown across the nation has brought the country to a standstill. Travel and aviation are the two sectors that are bearing the brunt of the lockdown.

Earlier in the day, Airports Council International said that the Asia Pacific airport industry is expected to report a loss of $5.6 billion in the first quarter followed by a traffic volume loss of up to 1.5 billion passengers across the region due to prolonged duration of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stats, coronavirus has claimed 18 deaths and total 743 cases have been reported across India.

Globally, over 537,042 have been infected by the virus and more than 24,110 people have died due to the coronavirus.