Aircraft have been operating in Bhutan since 1968. It was not until 1983 that Bhutan’s national airline, Druk Air, established a unit to look after civil aviation matters.
In order to comply with international requirements to have an independent aviation safety authority, the Department of Civil Aviation was established in January 1986. As a newly established agency, the department sought assistance from the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Development Programme. These agencies provided assistance with staff training and organizational capacity building. Over time, the DCA’s function has expanded; it is now responsible for the development and management of airports, the delivery of airport services and the provision of air navigation services
Chronology of Civil Aviation History:
- 1968-Paro airstrip operational
- 1981-National airline Druk Air established by Royal Decree
- 1983-Commercial air transport commenced with two 18-seater Dornier
- 1986-DCA formerly established
- 1988-Bhutan: party to Hague Convention
- 1988-Bhutan: party to Montreal Convention
- 1989-Bhutan party to Tokyo Convention
- 1989-Bhutan became a ICAO member State
- 1990-The Civil Aviation Act, 1990 passed
- 1992-The Bhutan Air Navigation Regulations (BANR) promulgated – based on ICAO requirements.
- 1993-Becomes Druk Air Corporation Ltd.
- 2000-The Civil aviation Act amended
- 2002-BANR amended (supplement in 1994)
- 2010-BANR revised
- 17th Dec 2011–Domestic air service to Bumthang & Yongphula launched
- 2011-Tashi Air launched (Domestic)
- 2012-Tashi Air suspended (May)
- Sept 2012-Gelephu Runway inaugurated
- 2013-Tashi Air to commence international-Oct 2013 (Ministry’s approval)
- 2013-Draft Act for Regulation of Civil Aviation underway (ADB