Aviation policy: Ministry concludes consultations, 'minor issues' remain

New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday concluded consultations on the draft aviation policy with the stakeholders and the keenly awaited document will go for cabinet approval as soon as some "minor issues" are resolved.

At a meeting held in Delhi, all the stake holders including the airlines, public and airport operators put across their "final views" on the policy, paving the way for the Ministry to prepare the draft note for Union Cabinet's approval.

"The idea was to get their views (of stakeholders). And we got the views," Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajpathi Raju said after the meeting.

Aviation policy: Ministry concludes consultations, minor issues remain

Representational image. Reuters

The draft civil aviation policy was unveiled on 30 October last year. Comments on the draft policy were sought till November 30, 2015.

The meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, was also attended by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma, aviation secretary R N Choubey and other senior ministry officials besides representatives from the airlines, airport operators, ground-handling agencies, among others.

Sources privy to the deliberations at the meeting, however, said the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), which wants the Government to maintain status quo on the norm for international flying by the domestic carriers, adhered to its stand over the issue.

"The FIA told the ministry that it should address the issue of substantial ownership and effective control (SOEC) first before taking any decision on 5/20 norm," they said.

FIA comprises Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir.

Under the rule popularly called 5/20, a domestic carrier is allowed to fly abroad only after completing five years of domestic operations and having a minimum of 20 aircraft fleet.

Raju earlier in the day said that the proposed aviation policy will be placed before the Cabinet for its approval as soon as a couple of "minor issues" were sorted out, without assigning any particular time line for the policy roll-out.

"We have had extensive discussions. There are two-three minor issues which are being ironed out right now, as soon as they are ironed out, (the policy) will be circulated," Raju said on the sidelines of an aviation conference here.

"The government has a procedure, we take inter-department consultations (before giving the policy a final shape)."

Raju had also questioned the scientific basis of the 5/20 norms while dubbing it as the one which was "pulling down" Indians.

"5/20 is obviously something that is pulling Indians down... Does it have any scientific meaning?", he asked.

While the proposed civil aviation policy has suggested three options on 5/20, including retaining it or scrapping it, the airlines industry is sharply divided over the issue.


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Updated Date: Jan 22, 2016 22:50:28 IST