Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Maharashtra to draft its own civil aviation policy to boost regional connectivity

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is planning to draft a comprehensive state civil aviation policy for the next 10 years to boost regional air connectivity, perhaps a first in the country.

As part of this, new airports and heliports will be built, aviation-related industries will be set up and the process of getting clearances in the sector will be expedited.

The Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC), a state government company that looks after development and management of regional airports in the state, is in the process of roping in a consultant with expertise in aviation and aerospace infrastructure. The consultant will be expected to draw up a vision plan for 2018-2027, an implementation plan and a civil aviation policy.

“There is a national aviation policy…it is the central government that is the decision maker for any proposal. As a result, what the state sees as a top priority may not necessarily be the highest priority of the Centre,” Suresh Kakani, managing director, MADC, told ThePrint.

“So, we decided to have a state-centric policy to take quick decisions for better regional connectivity, provide for investments and take advantage of the fast-growing aviation industry,” he said.

Maharashtra is perhaps the first state to develop such a comprehensive state civil aviation policy, Kakani added.
Under the overall policy, there will be individual policies for the development of airport infrastructure on a public-private partnership model, for international charter and helicopter operations, for airport security, as well as for employment generation in the aviation industry.

The civil aviation policy will also have norms for development of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centres, aviation training institutes, ground handling and cargo. It will take into consideration other existing schemes such as the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme, Maharashtra’s recently drafted policy for helipads, policies for sea planes, skill development, and ease-of-doing business, among others.

While drafting the civil aviation policy, the consultant will also be expected to develop a system for speedy approvals by various departments such as environment, coastal zone clearances, forest, defence, home, among others through a single-window system.
10/04/18 Manasi Phadke/The Print

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