The Department of Air Transport (DoAT) is a statutory department operating under the purview of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport of the Royal Government of Bhutan. It was established in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act of 2016. This dynamic department was officially inaugurated on the 24th of April 2015, stemming from the strategic division of the former Department of Civil Aviation into two distinct entities: the Department of Air Transport (DoAT), which serves as the airport service provider, and the Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA), responsible for aviation regulation.
DoAT takes pride in its stewardship of four significant airports, including the iconic Paro International Airport, Gelephu International Airport, and two other strategically placed domestic airports. Additionally, it plays a pivotal role in delivering comprehensive Air Navigation Services at all airports throughout the country, in accordance with the assignments and designations established by the BCAA.
The Department is dedicated to fostering the continuous improvement and modernization of Air Traffic Services, Passenger Terminals, Airside facilities, Operational Areas, and Cargo Facilities at airports throughout the country.
Exploring the Divisions at DoAT
The Department of Air Transport (DoAT) is a cornerstone of aviation in Bhutan, committed to ensuring the highest standards of safety, security, and service in the air transport sector. Within DoAT, several specialized divisions work together harmoniously to achieve this mission. Each division plays a unique and essential role in the smooth operation of airports, the provision of air navigation services, airport emergency response and security, and the management of safety systems. Let’s dive into these divisions to learn more about their vital functions and contributions to the aviation landscape in Bhutan.
Airport Management Division
Our dedicated Airport Management and Operations Division is responsible for facilitating the daily flight operations at Paro International Airport. From facilitating operations to enhancing customer services and maintaining airports, this division ensures the seamless functioning of our airports. They manage critical support services, including human resources, procurement, store management, commercial activities, and more. By efficiently managing these administrative aspects, they contribute to the overall success of Bhutan’s aviation sector, fostering a safe, welcoming, and well-organized environment for travelers and aviation professionals alike.
Air Navigation Service Division
Our Air Navigation Service Division is responsible for the efficient and reliable provision of air navigation services. This includes air traffic services, aeronautical information services, search and rescue missions, and much more. Ensuring the safe flow of flight operations in Bhutan’s airspace is our top priority.
Aerodrome Planning & Management Division
The Aerodrome Planning & Management Division is focused on planning and developing new airport infrastructure to meet international standards. They maintain and inspect aerodrome facilities, guaranteeing compliance with national standards set by the Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority and International standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of all airport infrastructure.
Airport Emergency & Security Division
Safety and security are paramount at DoAT, and that’s where our Airport Emergency & Security Division comes in. They safeguard passengers, crew, and aircraft against unlawful interference and provide rescue and firefighting services. Compliance with international aviation security standards is a top priority.
Safety Management System Unit
To enhance safety, our Safety Management System Unit ensures the establishment and implementation of a robust Safety Management Framework. They manage risk, coordinate emergency responses, monitor safety performance, and promote safety through training and education.
At DoAT, our mission is clear: to provide safe, efficient, and world-class air transport services while contributing to the economic development of Bhutan. We are committed to meeting the highest international standards and ensuring that air travel in Bhutan is a secure and enjoyable experience for all.
Domestic Airports: Connecting Bhutan’s Regions
Bhutan’s domestic airports serve as essential conduits that connect the diverse regions of the country. Each domestic airport operates under the leadership of an Airport Manager, accompanied by a dedicated team of professionals hailing from various divisions, including Aviation Security, Air Traffic Controllers, Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance technicians, Maintenance technicians, and Aviation Firefighting and rescue team. Together, they diligently orchestrate the seamless functioning of these domestic airports, ensuring that travelers experience safe and efficient flights within Bhutan’s borders.
Their collective efforts encompass an array of critical responsibilities, ranging from overseeing security measures to managing air traffic control, delivering communication and navigation services, overseeing meticulous airport planning and development, and maintaining preparedness for any unforeseen emergencies. These seasoned teams stand as the bedrock of Bhutan’s domestic aviation network, facilitating uninterrupted exploration of the nation’s captivating landscapes and vibrant regions for travelers seeking to experience the essence of Bhutan.
Functional Chart of Department