Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Aviation ministry prepares five-year plan, list of high-impact decisions

Weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all ministries to prepare a five-year vision document each, the civil aviation ministry has chalked out its plan and formulated a list of "high-impact" decisions as well, sources close to the development told CNBC-TV18.

The vision of the civil aviation ministry under the five-year plan is to create an environment where the aviation industry is sustainable, affordable, safe and internationally competitive and provides connectivity to all parts of the country.

The ministry's mission entails a 13-point agenda, touching upon a key point of bilateral rights, a subject of extreme importance in the context of suspension of operations of India's largest international player, Jet Airways. As per the mission, the ministry aims for efficient and effective use of international traffic rights by increasing the share of Indian carriers to 50 percent as compared to the current level of 20 percent.

It is important to note here that domestic airlines have not fully utilised 80 percent of their capacity entitlements on overseas routes, but foreign carriers have utilised their bilateral rights.

Creation of airport infrastructure by operationalising 100 more airports and enhancing the regional connectivity scheme or UDAN-Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik are also part of the ministry's five-year agenda.

"The ministry has also aimed to create a transparent and efficient digital regulatory environment. Creating a non-intrusive but effective security system and in being sync with latest technologies, the focus will also be on drones-formulating regulations and building monitoring infrastructure," sources aware of the development said.

In order to reduce the expenditure on maintenance and aircraft acquisition for airlines, the mission document also aims to make India a hub of aircraft maintenance and encourage lease financing within the country.

In fact, the government is also looking at the creation of an Indian GDS or global distribution system. GDS is a software that travel agencies use to sell tickets or book hotel rooms. Currently, the largest GDS providers are all foreign companies such as Amadeus, Sabre among others.

"Manufacturing a commercial airliner, encouraging private sector participation in airports, airlines and allied sectors, making Indian carriers globally competitive, creating training capabilities in the country in order to address the issues of pilot shortage are also part of the agenda," the sources added.
02/07/19 CNBC TV18

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