Monday, January 11, 2016

Airports Authority of India objects to proposal to let airlines carry out ground handling

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has raised objections to the aviation ministry's proposal to allow airlines to carry out ground handling on their own, a plan that people in the know said was approved as part of the draft civil aviation policy despite the state-owned airport operator's opposition.

"We had said that allowing airlines to do ground handling themselves would go against the reasons for bringing in the Ground Handling Policy which has been cleared by the government in the past," said a senior AAI official, who did not want to be named. He said the policy's main aim was ensuring adequate security at the airports.

"The ministry is looking at it from the cost angle and not the safety angle," he said, referring to the new draft aviation policy that is expected to be cleared by the Cabinet by month-end.

"It (ministry) believes that allowing airlines to do ground handling would lead to cost savings for them." In 2007, the then government announced a Ground Handling Policy, which required airlines to outsource the job in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru to any of these three: airport operator along with a partner, an arm of national carrier Air India or a company selected by the operator. Elsewhere, they could manage ground handling on their own or hire agents.
11/01/16 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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