The long-pending new civil aviation policy is in its last stage of completion. Civil aviation secretary R N Choubey said that there is a lot of concern from the various stakeholders in the aviation industry, including carrier companies, that the old 5/20 guidelines should be removed from the new aviation policy.
Under the 5/20 guidelines, a carrier will have to wait for five years and have a fleet of 20 aircraft to fly abroad. “We will take a view on that. We have heard from various companies, and will review that,” Choubey said on Tuesday.
However, he said that the policy would focus on connecting more regional towns and cities. In lieu of that, the policy will continue to have the route disbursal guidelines (RDG). “RDG is useful to make connectivity in remote areas,” Choubey said. “My biggest challenge is to take flying to tier-II and tier-III towns. About 65% of the air traffic is in metros, but if we can take it to the regional towns, the number of tickets sold can go up to 600 million tickets a year.” The secretary also said that the aviation draft is being completely re-written, and that the draft that was prepared in November last year needed improvement at various stages.
Based on the RDG guidelines, the new domestic flying credit (DFC) structure was put in place, which focused on giving more credits to carriers flying to regional towns, or category-III towns — thrice of that of category-I cities. If RDG is here to stay, experts said that even the DFC structure might stay. DFC will determine when a new airline can start flying abroad, based on the credits accumulated.