Civil Aviation policy to be sent to Cabinet in third week of January

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on December 30, 2015

Federation of Indian Airlines calls for another meeting with Ministry

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is on track to take the draft civil aviation policy to the Union Cabinet in the third week of January, Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary Civil Aviation, told newspersons on Wednesday.

The assertion comes even as the Federation of Indian Airlines called for a postponement of a meeting between airlines and Secretary, Civil Aviation on Wednesday requesting, “for another opportunity on any date after January 6, 2016 for the top management of the four of the largest airlines in the country to present their views in person.”

Sources indicated that the promoters of IndiGo and Jet Airways are abroad at the moment and hence a postponement of the meeting is being sought. The meeting, however, went ahead with officials from AirAsia and some other domestic airlines. The Civil Aviation Ministry plans to send the Cabinet note on the draft policy to various Ministries for their final comments in early January. After giving the Ministries two weeks’ time for incorporating changes mentioned by them, it plans to send the draft note to the Cabinet in the third week of January.

When asked whether the draft policy will be sent to the Cabinet without taking into consideration the opinion of airline owners who have been in the business for over a decade, the Secretary said that the Centre will consider every point of view which is put before it. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, ducked the question saying that there is no time line for sending the draft civil aviation policy to the Cabinet.

5/20 rule

One contentious point in the draft policy on which the industry is divided is the 5/20 rule which currently stipulates that a domestic airline must have a fleet of 20 aircraft and completed five years of domestic operations before being eligible for international flights.

AirAsia India and Vistara are pressing for the removal of the 5/20 rule while older players like Air India and IndiGo have called for its retention.

Published on December 30, 2015
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