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Q. National civil aviation policy: How recently approved India’s first ever National civil aviation policy will boost Indian aviation sector.
Jun 16, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

In news-

Recently central government has approved India’s first National Civil Aviation Policy.

Introduction-

Recently approved National civil aviation policy aims at increasing air connectivity, allowing new domestic airlines to fly abroad quickly and opening up the skies for European and SAARC countries.

Key features of new policy-

  • To bring down airfares to 2,500 rupees per hour of flying time on many under-served regional routes, particularly away from big cities.
  • 5/20 rule (Rule that allows only airlines that had operated for five years and had 20 aircraft in their fleets to fly internationally) has been amended and now 5 year operation has been removed.
  • To develop about 350 dilapidated or underused airstrips across India into no frills airports.
  • Now India will have an open-sky policy for countries beyond the 5,000-km radius from Delhi on a reciprocal basis.
  • The Route Dispersal Guidelines have been rationalised by making the criteria for declaring category of routes.
  • Up-gradation and modernisation of Air Navigation Services will continue in line with global trends.

Analysis-

  • New aviation policy one of the first of much awaited reforms in airline sector. Objectives like affordability, connectivity, ease of doing business etc will boost the India aviation sector.
  • As government approved cap on short duration flight tickets, it will increase the domestic flyers. New policy will boost the domestic aviation sector by taking flying to the masses through a slew of policy initiatives and fiscal and monetary support.
  • The regional connectivity scheme under new policy will connect India’s remote unconnected regions, which in turn will boost tourism, create jobs and stimulate the economy in tier 2-3 cities.
  • Subsectors like Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul providers (MRO's) Cargo, helicopters, general aviation and Make in India will get a fillip with liberalised operational norms and tax breaks.
  • The irrational and anti-competition 5/20 rule has been replaced with 0/20. Now new companies no longer to wait for 5 years to operate on international routes.
  • With open-sky policy on reciprocal basis will unlimited access to airlines from European and SAARC countries, which leads to increased flight frequencies with these countries.

Suggestions-

  • To enhance aviation sector further regulator civil aviation authority should be made independent with more powers.
  • Air navigation services should be separated from airport authority of India.
  • Loss making Air India should be either made more effective by improving it or could be privatised.

Conclusion-

The policy gives the aviation sector a clear direction to ramp up their operations in India and grow business in the domestic and international segment. It will attract more players and will help take flying to the masses at low cost. It will also boost sub sectors of aviation industries. Hence the new policy is a significant step forward in ensuring the interests of all stakeholders.


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