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Civil Aviation Policy 2016

Civil Aviation Policy 2016:  Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the New Civil Aviation Policy on 15th June 2016. This is the first time since Independence that an integrated Civil Aviation Policy has been brought out by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. 

Civil Aviation Policy 2016 Aims:

  • India to become 3rd largest civil aviation market by 2022 from 9th
  • Domestic ticketing to grow from 8 crore in 2015 to 30 crore by 2022
  • Airports having scheduled commercial flights to increase from 77 in 2016 to 127 by 2019
  • Cargo volumes to increase by 4 times to 10 million tonnes by 2027
  • Taking flying to masses – Enabling Indians to fly at Rs. 2,500 per hour under Regional Connectivity Scheme at unserved airports
  • Requirement of 5 years of domestic flying for starting international operations removed
  • Flexible and liberalized ‘open skies’ and ‘code share’ agreements
  • Incentives to MRO sector to develop as hub for South Asia
  • Ensuring availability of quality certified 3.3 lakh skilled personnel by 2025
  • Development of green-field airports and heliports
  • Enhancing ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures and e-governance
  • Promoting ‘Make In India’ in Civil Aviation Sector

Civil Aviation Policy 2016 Salient features:
  • The Viability Gap Funding (VGF) will be funded by a small levy per departure on all domestic routes other than Cat II/ Cat IIA routes, RCS routes and small aircraft at a rate as decided by the Ministry from time to time. 
  • The 5/20 rule for commencement of international flight in operation since 2004 is replaced by a formulation which provides a level playing field and allows airlines, both new and old, to commence international operations provided they continue to meet some obligation for domestic operation.
  • Necessary administrative and financial flexibility will be provided to Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for an effective aviation safety oversight system and for creating a transparent single-window system for all aviation safety related issues.
  • The Route Dispersal Guidelines (RDG)  have been  rationalised by making the criteria for declaring a route as Category I (trunk route) more transparent, while the traffic to be deployed on Cat II and IIA expressed in terms of a percentage of CAT I traffic remains the same. 
  • The regime of bilateral rights and code share agreements will be liberalised leading to greater ease of doing business and wider choice to passengers. “Open skies” will be implemented on a reciprocal basis for SAARC countries and countries beyond 5000 kms from Delhi. 
  • The Ministry will continue to encourage development of airports by the State Government or the private sector or in PPP mode and endeavour to provide regulatory certainty. Future greenfield and brownfield airports will have cost efficient functionality with no compromise on safety and security.
  • Airport Authority of India (AAI) will continue to develop and modernise its airports and upgrade quality of services. AAI will be suitably compensated in case a new greenfield airport is approved in future within 150 km radius of an existing operational AAI airport which is not yet saturated.
  • Upgradation and modernisation of Air Navigation Services will continue in line with global trends. AAI will provide a fully harmonised Air Navigation System considering International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Global Air Navigation Plan, Aviation system Block Upgrade and modern performance based technologies and procedures.
  • The Government will promote helicopter usage by issuing separate regulations for helicopters and development of four heli-hubs initially. Ministry of Civil Aviation will also coordinate with all the agencies and stakeholders concerned to facilitate Helicopter Emergency Medical Services.
  • The existing ground handling policy is being replaced with a new framework to ensure fair competition. The airport operator will ensure that there will be three Ground Handling Agencies (GHA) including Air India's subsidiary/JV at all major airports as defined in AERA Act 2008. At  non-major airports, the airport operator to decide on the number of ground handling agencies, based on the traffic output, airside and terminal building capacity. All domestic scheduled airline operators including helicopter operators will be free to carry out self-handling at all airports. Hiring of employees through manpower supplier will not be permitted.