Airlines will no longer need to obtain permission from the government every time they import an aircraft.
Aviation minister Ajit Singh ordered on Thursday that the Aircraft Acquisition Committee (AAC), which till now was responsible for giving final approval to airlines for import of aircraft, be abolished – a move that ministry officials said would help do away with the unnecessary delays.
“The government has done away with control over acquisition of aircraft by scheduled and non-scheduled operators, private operators and flying training institutes.
"The permission for actual induction of aircraft will no longer be required from the ministry,” a ministry statement said.
Henceforth, only initial No Objection Certificate (NoC) for operating scheduled, non-scheduled air transport services and in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft by scheduled operators will be required from the ministry, as this is a requirement under Rules 134 and 134A of the Aircraft Rules and the Reserve Bank of India guidelines to facilitate aircraft acquisition.
“Nothing much changes with this decision. Earlier, it was a committee that gave the approval, now it will be a government department. When one has to take approval from a department of the ministry it amounts to the same thing,” said aviation expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan.
The ministry officials, however, argued that after implementation of the decision, no approval from the aviation ministry will be required for actual import or replacement of aircraft once the in-principle approval has been taken.
And, all such cases will be dealt by the aviation regulator – the Directorate General of Civil Aviation – for completion of necessary formalities.
However, since December 2011, all proposals for aircraft import had been cleared.