Free Press Journal

Civil Aviation Ministry preparing list of crucial issues


New Delhi: With a new government taking over on Monday, Civil Aviation Ministry is preparing a list of crucial issues facing the sector like review of the 5/20 rule to allow Indian carriers to launch global operations and the downgrade of India’s safety ranking by the US aviation regulator.

A presentation is being prepared on the issues and problems facing the airlines, airports and other stakeholders and the unfinished tasks of the Manmohan Singh regime.

Official sources agreed that the issues would include a review of the rule that makes it mandatory for an airline to fly domestic for five years and have a 20-aircraft fleet before it could be allowed to launch international operations.

The previous government was actively considering scrapping this rule, which was brought in by UPA-I on the grounds that an airline would have to first establish itself domestically before it could be allowed to fly abroad.

This issue would be crucial to the start-up airlines like AirAsia India and Tata-SIA Airlines who would want to launch global flights soon after they begin operations.

The downgrade of India’s aviation safety mechanism to Category-II by US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), its implications and preparations being made to restore it to the top Category-I, would also find considerable space in the presentation.

In January, FAA ranked India among countries which do not meet the safety norms stipulated by the UN body – International Civil Aviation Authority.

Another issue to be highlighted would be the modernisation of six metro airports, including those at Chennai and Kolkata, apart from almost 30 non-metro airports. Work on these could be started immediately if the new government agreed, the sources said.

The presentation is likely to be made soon after Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues take oath on Monday.

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