Work still in progress on changes to 5/20 norms: civil aviation ministry

The proposed rules stipulate that a new start-up domestic airline will only be allowed to operate on those international routes to begin with, which are more than six hours of flight from India.

hidden July 02, 2015 22:31:59 IST
Work still in progress on changes to 5/20 norms: civil aviation ministry

New Delhi: Ministry of Civil Aviation today said no decision has been taken yet on changes to the 5/20 norms as work is still in progress on the matter.

The ministry has sought views from various stakeholders on changes to the existing 5/20 norms -- whereby only domestic carriers in operation for at least five years and having a fleet of 20 aircraft are allowed to fly on international routes.

Work still in progress on changes to 520 norms civil aviation ministry

Representational image. Reuters

"We are working on it," Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said about changes to 5/20 norms.

All stakeholders should have clarity for their business plans with regard to the norms, he added.

Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said the proposed changes to 5/20 norms is a "work in progress" and no decision has yet been taken on the matter.

By bringing in changes in the more than decade-old rule, the government seeks to address the imbalance between domestic and foreign carriers.

At present, budget airline GoAir, which had started operations in November 2005, is the only domestic carrier among the old players, which is not eligible for overseas operations as it does not have 20 planes.

New airlines Vistara and AirAsia India are also not eligible for operating international flights from India as they do not meet the 5/20 guidelines.

The proposed rules stipulate that a new start-up domestic airline will only be allowed to operate on those international routes to begin with, which are more than six hours of flight from India.

The Federation of Indian Airlines, which has IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir as its members has objected to any relaxations and both Vistara and AirAsia India strongly pitching for scrapping of the rule.

The ministry has proposed a complicated formula replacing 5/20, in which domestic flying credits would still be needed for new airlines to fly abroad.

As per the proposed norms, a new airline would be eligible to apply for international operations once it has operated on domestic routes and deployed capacity equivalent to at least 200 domestic flying credits (DFCs).

On reaching the 300 DFC milestone, the airline can approach the government for being designated on a long haul international route of more than 6 hours flying time.

Such deployment would be required to comply with revised Route Dispersal Guidelines.

PTI

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