The Ministry of Civil Aviation took several steps during the year 2014 to give a boost to the aviation sector by improving air connectivity and providing better services to air travellers. The highlights are as follows:
- Draft National Civil Aviation Policy Unveiled .
Draft National Civil Aviation Policy was released by Minister of Civil Aviation on 30th October 2015. Consultation with various stakeholders has been carried out during the month including Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The mission of the Draft Civil Aviation Policy is to provide safe, secure, affordable and maintainable air travel with access to various parts of India and the world with an objective of enhanced regional connectivity, ease of doing business and promoting entire aviation sector chain from cargo, general aviation, aerospace manufacturing to skill development.
- Growth of domestic passenger traffic:
Passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan-Oct 2015 were 660.60 lakhs as against 550.69 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 19.96%.
- Simplification of procedures
The procedure for import/acquisition of aircraft by scheduled operators/regional scheduled operators: was simplified by delegating power to grant initial NOC/in –Principle approval to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
- FDI by foreign airlines
FDI by foreign airlines up to 49% in scheduled air transport service/domestic scheduled passenger airline/regional air transport service, 100% in non scheduled air transport services and 100% helicopter services/seaplane service requiring DGCA approval has been permitted subject to certain sectoral regulations.
- Regional and Remote Area Air Connectivity:
To achieve better regulation of air transport services to un-served and underserved areas, a draft policy on promotion of Regional and Remote Area Connectivity is being finalized in consultation with stake holders as part of National Civil Aviation Policy. The objective of the proposed Regional Connectivity Policy will be to encourage airlines to operate in remote and regional areas by offering various concessions/incentives and at the same time, making it obligatory to fly to remote and intra remote areas.
- Issues relating to Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul:
Ministry of Civil Aviation is in the process of creating a conducive environment for the growth of Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) industry to enhance the viability of MRO business.. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has finalized its policy for allotment of land at concessional rate and exemption from royalty charged for MROs. Ministry of Civil Aviation is finalizing the National Civil Aviation Policy which includes development of MRO activities in consultation with Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue and will focus on rationalization of the taxes and simplification of customs procedures to facilitate MROs.
- E-Leave :
All officials of the Ministry except MTS are using e-office portal while applying for their leave.
90% files in the main Ministry are being submitted through e-Office.
Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare has launched an online system ‘Bhavishya’ for tracking of pension sanction and payment. Officers/officials of the Ministry are being brought under the ambit of Bhavishya.
- Top Security Rating
As per the latest security audit conducted by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), India’s Compliance with Annex 17 Standards of ICAO has been rated as 99.59%, which brings India’s aviation security rating at the topmost rung amongst the countries signatory to ICAO conventions.
- New Integrated Terminal Building at Tirupati Airport
New Integrated Terminal Building with capacity to handle 500 domestic and 200 international passengers at a time was commissioned and operationalized at Tirupati Airport on 21st November, 2015.
- New Airport at Kadapa
The Kadapa Airport was formally inaugurated on 07/06/2015.
- New Civil Air Terminal at Chandigarh
New Civil Air Terminal at Chandigarh was dedicated to the Nation by the Honourable Prime Minister of India on 11th September, 2015.
- New Terminal Building at Vijayawada
The Foundation Stone laying ceremony of the New Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport was held on 19th October, 2015 at Vijayawada airport.
- Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) and New Hangars at LGBI Airport, Guwahati inaugurated
- GAGAN system (GPS AIDED GEO AUGMENTED NAVIGATION) launched.
GPS- Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system has been fully operationalized and is capable of providing navigation services to departure, en-route and landing operations to suitably equipped aircrafts. The GAGAN System provides very accurate and high level of integrity satellite signals for precision air navigation over the entire Indian airspace.
- NOCAS V.2.
The existing online height clearance system. NOCAS has been upgraded to NOCAS V.2. The NOCAS V.2 is bound to process the NoC application without any human intervention after physical verification of site elevation and co-ordination by AAI officials and issuance of NoC for height clearance expeditiously.
- MoU between AAI and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise
An MoU has been signed between Airports Authority of India and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise for Operations and Maintenance support of Ahemdabad and Jaipur Airports.
- The status of Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University:
The posts of Vice-chancellor and Project Director have been created and process of selection is underway . A Steering Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary for monitoring the different implementation tracks of the University and for providing necessary guidance in execution of the project. In order to finalise the syllabus and other modalities, Ministry of Civil Aviation had organized a Workshop on 4thMarch, 2015 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Report of the Workshop has been approved the Steering Committee. The Ministry has entrusted the construction work for the university to Airports Authority of India. AAI has awarded the tender for work relating to construction of Package I (Academic Block, Hostel, Residential Quarters, Sub-station Building, etc.). Total estimated budget for construction of infrastructure to be allotted to AAI Rs. 149.48 Cr. The construction work has started.
- Development of International Air Cargo Hub:
One of the main objectives of Draft Civil Aviation Policy is the development of International Air Cargo Hub at gateway airports in India. To achieve this objective, airports will be developed as regional cargo hubs, integrating multimodal transport facilities, cold chains and other commodity specific requirements. The turnaround time for cargo will be upgraded to international standards. In this regard, Ministry has nominated RITES Limited to prepare DPR for setting up of International Air Cargo Hubs at Delhi and Chennai Airports. RITES will submit its report by 15/1/2016.
- Skill Development in Aviation Sector:
It has been decided to undertake a Skill Gap Analysis in the Civil Aviation Sector, and develop a road map for undertaking a skill development programme for which a new budget head has been opened in this year’s budget. The Ministry has engaged M/s ICRA Management Consultancy Services Limited (IMaCS) as Consultants for this work
Furthermore, Ministry of Civil Aviation has set up a Task Force headed by Economic Advisor, MoCA with members of air cargo stakeholders/ training institutions to come up with suggestions on the industry’s requirements, and ways and means to implement skill development training programmes. In addition to this, AAI has entered into an agreement with IATA for training of large pool of professionals to keep AAI ahead of the curve in a world of rapid change.
- MoU between AAI and ICAO
To augment the capability of the developing countries and to implement the standards and recommended practices and to promote the safety and development of international civil aviation AAI signed an MoU with ICAO for a period of two years for establishing and administering training to participants selected from designated ICAO Member States (developing countries).
- Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Airports Authority of India under guidance of Ministry of Civil Aviation, provided relief material weighing approximately 25 tonnes, comprising of essential food items, blankets, waterproof tents, sanitary items, medicines and utensils etc. as part of Government of India initiative to extend helping hands to the earthquake victims of Nepal.
- Air Navigation Services (ANS) directorate of Airports Authority of India (AAI), has been awarded the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Award for Innovative Product/Service for the year 2015’ by the Institute of Directors.
- Kolkata Airport has been declared “Best improved airport” for the year 2013 and 2014 consecutively in Asia Pacific by Airports Council International (ACI).
- Airports Authority of India launched its first E-Learning program on “Introduction to Airport Operations” a nationwide knowledge enhancement initiative for its Pan –India employees.
- CAT-II operations have started at Lucknow and Amritsar airport with effect from 17/12/2015 evening.
- In order to promote and encourage the works of amateur and budding artists in India, Airports Authority of India has started art galleries at its Airports.