Aviation minister Scindia forms apex panels to revive aviation sector
Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia on Wednesday formed three key advisory groups comprising airlines, airport operators, cargo carriers, ground handling companies, flying training organisations and maintenance, repair and overhaul companies to deliberate and resolve challenges faced by the pandemic-hit aviation sector.
The advisory group on airports headed by the aviation minister will include the aviation secretary, aviation ministry joint secretary, director general, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, chairman, Airports Authority of lndia, G.B.S. Raju, Business chairman, GMR Group, Jeet Adani, vice president, Adani Group and Hari K Marar, MD & CEO, Bengaluru International Airport Limited.
“The terms of reference of the Civil Aviation Advisory Group of Airports, inter-alia includes the following:- To advise the Government for enhancing the airport capacity; to advise on matters related to infrastructure augmentation and modernization; to advise on matters related to augmenting passenger facilities and amenities at airports; to advise on matters related to improving customer experience and satisfaction while awaiting various airport services; to advise on matters related to improving ASQ rating and other similar international benchmark ratings,” the order said.
The group will also advise on tariff related and other regulatory issues, on matters related to manpower skilling in the airport sector and on CAPEX performance of airports, inclusive of targets under the National infrastructure Pipeline.
Another apex group to deal with issues related to domestic airlines will be headed by the aviation ministry and include General VK Singh (retd) minister of state, civil aviation; aviation secretary, DGCA, Rajiv Bansal, CMD, Air India, Rahul Bhatia, chairman, Indigo (vi) Shri Ajay Singh, chairman, SpiceJet, Ness Wadia, director, Go Air, Bhaskar Bhat, chairman, Vistara; Sunil Bhaskaran, CEO, Air Asia and CEO, Alliance Air.
“The Joint Secretary of DG Division will act as Convener. The Joint Secretary of DT Division will support the Group on the issues related to domestic transport,” the order said.
The advisory group of airlines will advise the government on enhancing the domestic and international connectivity, on matters related to promotion of passenger and cargo service, matters related to passenger facilities during air travel and manpower skilling in the aviation sector. It will also suggest ways to safeguard the viability of airlines.
“The groups shall meet regularly to deliberate upon issues and resolve challenges facing each sector. Orders have been issued for the same,” the aviation ministry tweeted.
The Indian aviation sector is estimated to have suffered losses worth around $ 8 billion dollars in two years as a direct impact of the pandemic, according to aviation consultancy and research firm CAPA. Airlines have been seeking government stimulus since last year to tide over their losses. The aviation industry has also demanded lowering of the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) taxation for years. It has sought the inclusion of ATF under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as tax uniformity would lead to cost reduction.