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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 05 August, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Civil Aviation sector in India

Background

  • Civil aviation in India, the world's third-largest civil aviation market as of 2020, traces its origin back to 1911, when the first commercial civil aviation flight took off from a polo ground in Allahabad carrying mail across the Yamuna river to Naini.
  • Air India is India's national flag carrier after merging with Indian in 2011 and plays a major role in connecting India with the rest of the world.
  • India will be the third-largest civil aviation market in the world by 2024. It recorded an air traffic of 131 million passengers in 2016, of which 100 million were domestic passengers.

Airports Authority of India (AAI)

  1. AAI was established in 1995. It is a mini ratna company involved in building, upgrading, maintaining and managing airport infrastructure.
  2. GAGAN: GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation is an augmentation system to enhance the accuracy and integrity of GPS signals. It is implemented jointly by AAI and ISRO.
  3. Govt raised FDI limit from 49% to 100% in scheduled and non scheduled air transport services.
  4. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Akademi (IGRUA) set up at Fursatganj, Raebareli (UP).
  5. Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU) is at Fursatganj, Raebareli (UP).

National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016:

  • This is the 1st policy since independence.
  • It aims at creating an ecosystem to push growth of civil aviation sector which would promote tourism, increase employment and lead to a balanced regional growth.

Reforms in Civil Aviation sector

The Government has taken several measures for reforms in civil aviation sector of the country by providing top class infrastructure and facilities. It includes:

  • AAI has taken up development programme to spend around Rs. 25,000 crores in next 4-5 years for expansion and modification of existing terminals, new terminals, expansion or strengthening of existing runways, aprons, Airport Navigation Services (ANS), control towers, technical blocks etc. to meet the expected growth in aviation sector.
  • Government of India (GoI) has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up of 21 Greenfield Airports across the country. So far, six Greenfield airports namely, Shirdi in Maharashtra, Durgapur in West Bengal, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala, Orvakal in Andhra Pradesh and Kalaburagi in Karnataka have been operationalized.
  • Promotion of private investments in existing and new airports through the PPP route.
  • Under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), as on 27 July, 2021, 359 routes have commenced connecting 59 unserved/underserved airports, including 2 water aerodromes and 5 heliports.
  • Route rationalization in the Indian airspace in coordination with Indian Air Force for efficient airspace management, shorter routes and lower fuel consumption.
  • Through Air Bubble Arrangements, efforts have been made to ensure fair and equitable treatment to our carriers in the international sector.
  • Government has supported airlines through various policy measures with an aim to improve their global competitiveness such as rationalisation of taxes, creation of a conducive aircraft leasing and financing environment, effective use of bilateral traffic rights and improvement in air navigation facilities etc.
  • Government has encouraged the airlines to buy modern wide body aircraft. So far Vistara Airlines has acquired two new wide body aircraft.

The aviation sector including airlines, airports, and related services have come under financial stress on account of COVID-19 pandemic. The details of major steps taken by the Government to revive the civil aviation sector during this period, inter alia, are as follows:

  • Provide support to airlines through various policy measures.
  • Provide airport infrastructure through Airports Authority of India and the private operators.
  • Promotion of private investments in existing and new airports through the PPP route
  • Provide an efficient Air Navigation System.
  • Through Air Bubble Arrangements, efforts have been made to ensure fair and equitable treatment to our carriers in the international sector.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate reduced to 5% from 18% for domestic Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.
  • A conducive aircraft leasing and financing environment has been enabled.
  • Route rationalization in the Indian airspace in coordination with Indian Air Force for efficient airspace management, shorter routes and lower fuel consumption.
  • Coordination with stakeholders to resolve issues.

Connectivity with Northeast through UDAN scheme

  • The first direct flight operations between Imphal (Manipur) & Shillong (Meghalaya) was flagged off yesterday under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme — Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) of the Government of India. The operationalization of this route fulfills the objectives of the Government of India to establish strong aerial connectivity in priority areas of NorthEast India. The officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) were present during the launch of the flight operations.

For the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India: click here

Source: Sanjeevani Notes


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