Draft civil aviation policy likely by September

The government expects to finalise the revised draft civil aviation policy by the first week of September, a senior official said today.

The new policy which has been in the works for quite sometime is anticipated to focus on improving air connectivity apart from possible changes in overseas flying norms for local carriers.

Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said the draft policy is expected to be put up for public comments by first week of September.

The inter-ministerial consultations are taking time and there is nothing problematic, he added.

Among others, the draft policy proposes to enhance regional air connectivity, rationalise jet fuel cost, promote air cargo, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) and helicopter operations and improve passenger facilitation.

The government also plans to revise the 5/20 norms, whereby domestic airlines are required to have at least five years operational experience and minimum 20 planes to fly overseas.

The draft policy was initially unveiled in November 2014 and after taking into consideration the comments and suggestions received, the ministry is looking at certain modifications to it.

To a query on whether there is a proposal for pooling of aircraft orders by airlines, Choubey said such a suggestion has been given.

"If all players see business sense in that (pooling of aircraft orders), then we will facilitate it... I have given the suggestion to them and they are working on it," he noted.

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