India’s first National Civil Aviation Policy was cleared by the Union Cabinet recently.
The National Civil Aviation Policy aims at:
- India to become 3rd largest civil aviation market by 2022 from 9th.
- Domestic ticketing to grow from 8 crore in 2015 to 30 crore by 2022
- Airports having scheduled commercial flights to increase from 77 in 2016 to 127 by 2019
- Cargo volumes to increase by 4 times to 10 million tonnes by 2027
- Taking flying to masses – Enabling Indians to fly at Rs. 2,500 per hour under Regional Connectivity Scheme at unserved airports
- Requirement of 5 years of domestic flying for starting international operations removed
- Flexible and liberalized ‘open skies’ and ‘code share’ agreements
- Incentives to MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) sector to develop as hub for South Asia
- Ensuring availability of quality certified 3.3 lakh skilled personnel by 2025
- Development of green-field airports and heliports
- Enhancing ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures and e-governance
- Promoting ‘Make In India’ in Civil Aviation Sector
Key Features of the National Civil Aviation Policy
- Scrapping of the decade-old 5/20 rule and replacing it with 0/20 norm– Earlier, a domestic airline could start international operations only after five years of domestic operations and having a fleet of at least 20 aircraft. As per new rules, they will be required to deploy 20 aircraft or 20% of the total fleet size, whichever is higher on domestic routes to get international flying rights.
- Regional Connectivity Scheme- Airlines will no longer be able to charge more than Rs. 2500 for a 1-hour flight connecting two small cities.The government will provide financial support to fund airlines’ losses on such un-served routes. A 2% levy has been proposed on all domestic and international flights on metro routes to boost regional connectivity. 50 No frills Airports, also called low cost airports, will be revived in the next three years. Airlines operating from these airports will get concessions on landing, parking charges and other expenses.
- Private Security Agencies- Private security agencies comprising of retired personnel from military and para-military forces will be encouraged for non-core security functions at the airports.
- Code sharing agreements- Indian carriers will now be able to enter into such agreements with foreign carriers for any destination within India on a reciprocal basis.
- Open Sky Policy– India will have this policy for countries beyond the 5000 km radius from Delhi on a reciprocal basis. This means that airlines from European or SAARC countries, will have unlimited access, in terms of number of flights and seats, to Indian airports, leading to increased flight frequencies with these countries.
- Growth of helicopters- This will be supported to provide connectivity to remote and inaccessible areas. Separate regulations for helicopters will be notified by DGCA.
- DGCA- Necessary administrative and financial flexibility will be provided to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for an effective aviation safety oversight system and for creating a transparent single-window system for all aviation safety related issues.