Friday, May 12, 2017

Ground handling agencies may be barred from airports belonging to forces

The government plans to bar ground handling agencies that are majority-owned by foreign entities from operating at civil enclaves or airports belonging to the armed forces.

The proposal is part of the detailed set of draft regulations for ground handling services issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Besides, the ministry has proposed barring foreign airlines from carrying out "self-handling" at any domestic airport.

The ministry has come out with the draft norms in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP).

"A ground handling agency, with foreign ownership of more than 50 per cent of its paid-up capital shall not be allowed to undertake ground handling activities at civil enclaves," as per the draft regulations.

Generally, civil enclaves are airports belonging to the armed forces where civilian aircraft operations are allowed.

However, all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves.

Seeking to put in stricter requirements, the ministry has proposed that an airport operator should engage a ground handling agency only after "transparent bidding process".

At all airports, Air India's subsidiary or joint venture would be permitted to match the "royalty/revenue share" offered by other ground handling agencies, as per the draft regulations.
11/05/17 PTI/Business Standard

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