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Rajya Sabha clears amendments to AERA Act

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 05, 2021

Bill democratises air travel

As Rajya Sabha too cleared the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the air travel in the country will now be democratised. The Bill was passed within 15 minutes, without any substantial debate as the Opposition was protesting, demanding a discussion on Pegasus issue.

Scindia said the Opposition had constructed only 75 airports in last 70 years and Narendra Modi Government increased it to 126 in the last six years. “With this bill, we would democratise the air travel, we would take the airport to cities, where the rail connectivity has reached,” he said. “Now small places such as Darbhanga (Bihar), Belgaum (Karnataka), Jharsuguda (Orissa), Rupsi (Assam), will have around 150 to 170 flights per week. This is an ambitious bill, based on which a new foundation for development would be laid,” Scindia added. Lok Sabha had passed the Bill earlier during the first week of monsoon session.

While participating in the debate, TRS MP KR Suresh Reddy said such a legislation was essential for the country as it will help the common man who uses air travel. He raised apprehensions about provisions such as clubbing of major airports with other ones. “What are the criteria of clubbing the major and other airports, which he has proposed in the bill? Will this clubbing have any major impact on the classification of major international airports,” he asked.

V Vijaysai Reddy of YSRCP pointed out that by clubbing profitable and non-profitable airports as a group and offering as a package to the prospective bidders, the Bill will promote more airports in low volume areas, especially in rural locations. “It will lead to the simultaneous development of small airports and help expand the air connectivity in the country,” he added.

Published on August 04, 2021

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