The government will introduce a Bill this year for the formation of a Civil Aviation Authority - an autonomous regulatory body for the aviation sector - that would replace the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
"Measures will be taken to protect the interests of air travellers," President Pratibha Patil said in her address to a joint session of Parliament on Monday. "A Bill will be introduced this year for a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure safe, secure and affordable air services."
The government will also form an air accident investigation bureau. "An independent air accident investigationbureau will be constituted. Air traffic management services and airports will be upgraded and modernised," she said.
A draft note for setting up a CAA has already been prepared and the proposal is likely to be put up before the cabinet by the end of this month. The CAA would have financial and administrative autonomy to take expeditious decisions.
The annual budget of the CAA will be twice that of the DGCA at about R160 crore and will be able to recruit staff directly, unlike the DGCA.
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, meanwhile, has said that the government was working on a new policy, which will propel India among the top five markets in the world by providing access to safe and affordable air services with a strong regulatory framework and world-class infrastructure facilities.
The aviation ministry will also consider the proposal to work out a separate air cargo policy as 200 freighter aircraft will be required in the next 20 years to meet the industry's demand, Singh had said.