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Blueprint for aviation revamp ready
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, April 03, 2006
First Published: 13:36 IST(3/4/2006)
Last Updated: 13:50 IST(3/4/2006)

The much-awaited recommendations of a high-power panel to transform the standards of India's civil aviation industry will be presented to the government this week, aviation ministry officials said.

The committee, headed by former civil aviation secretary MK Kaw, is ready with its blueprint to change existing rules and regulations in practically every area from aircraft maintenance to pilot inspection to improve safety and standards.

"The committee will cover everything from airworthiness of aircraft, operations and scheduling to licensing of personnel, airports and air traffic control," an official working closely with the Kaw panel said.

"The panel will submit the report to the civil aviation minister (Praful Patel) on April 4," the official said. The committee was set up last August to suggest how Indian laws can be amended and practices are adopted to match global standards.

The committee is expected to recommend changes to empower the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the country's civil aviation regulator, to facilitate more stringent checking of pilots, aircraft and documentation.

Terming some of the existing procedures as "obsolete", officials working closely with the committee said: "It is expected to suggest modalities to upgrade and modernise the DGCA and enhance its powers for better monitoring of the aviation industry."

The government has been more than keen on the report. "The deadline for the report had expired in February. But the government refused to extend it further and had sought its submission at the earliest," sources said.

Also additional services, which are currently with bodies like the Airports Authority of India (AAI), are expected to be handed over to the DGCA, the sources said.

"The rating of air traffic controllers, which is currently done by AAI, is likely to be entrusted to the DGCA," said an official.

The committee is also recommending certain changes in the functioning of the DGCA in terms of licensing of pilots and inspection of aircraft.

Sources said the committee would also recommend online filing of papers by airlines related to flight schedules and other procedural matters that would expedite the processing of such matters.

The committee was constituted to bring India's laws and regulations in line with global standards, especially with the aviation industry growing at a pace of about 25 percent.

Indian carriers were much sought after at Asian Aerospace, the region's largest air show held last month in Singapore, where several airlines from the country signed aircraft and engine purchase deals worth about $6 billion.

State-run domestic carrier Indian also signed a deal with Airbus in February to buy 43 aircraft while Air India is buying 68 from Boeing.


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