With consultations “almost complete”, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) now expects to place in a few weeks the much-delayed civil aviation policy before the Cabinet for its approval.
The policy that seeks to bolster the domestic aviation sector by tapping its high growth potential is still to be finalised despite extensive consultations after its draft was unveiled in October 2015.
Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey today said the ministry expects to send the final policy to the Cabinet in the next couple of weeks.
“Consultations have been mostly completed. It is nearly ready for being considered by the Cabinet … It should be possible for us do it in the next couple of weeks (sending the policy for Cabinet decision),” he said here.
Once the Cabinet approves it, details on proposals related to regional connectivity scheme would be discussed with the stakeholders, including state governments and airlines, he said.
The draft policy has suggested tax incentives for airlines, maintenance and repair works of aircraft, increasing FDI limit for foreign airlines, setting up of no-frills airports and providing viability gap funding for carriers to bolster regional air connectivity.
The ministry has held extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including ministries, airlines, airport operators and ground-handling agencies.
Initially, the policy was expected to be finalised in the last financial year as certain proposals were to be implemented from April 1, 2016.
However, differences over various issues, including the 5/20 rule for domestic carriers, have delayed finalisation of the policy.
Under 5/20 rule, only airlines having five years of operational experience and a fleet of at least 20 planes are allowed to fly overseas.