Civil aviation policy to be put on fast track
The much awaited national civil aviation policy is expected to be put on the fast track by the new government.
“The industry has been asking for clear guidelines for the civil aviation sector. The sector is besieged with problems more so because of the global economic slowdown and it is expected that the policy would be high on government’s first 100-days agenda,” a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified, said.
In its earlier tenure, the UPA government had referred the proposed policy to a group of ministers headed by Pranab Mukherjee that looked into easing rules for domestic carriers to fly abroad.
Under the norms, to launch overseas operations, an airline should have completed a minimum of five years of domestic operations and should have a fleet of at least 20 aircraft.
The industry is keen that the rule is eased, as similar rule is not applicable for foreign airlines that come into India.
According to Kapil Kaul, head of Centre For Asia Pacific Aviation, a global think tank and aviation advisory, the government should immediately address issues that are hindering the growth of the sector.
He said, “the five years and 20 aircraft rule for airlines to operate overseas should be abolished, the Aviation Economic Regulatory Authority which was cleared by Parliament during the UPA government’s tenure should be hastened and non-metro airports and upgrade of airport infrastructure should also be taken up on priority.”