THE Indian government expects to introduce a new civil aviation policy by January and a draft of the policy was released earlier this week by civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
Proposals detailed include the enhancing regional air connectivity, developing the airports of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru as international hubs, the creation of more airports through public private partnerships, rationalising the cost of aviation turbine fuel, disinvestment in government controlled Airport Authority of India and Pawan Hans- a helicopter service.
The government could also review the existing 5/20 rule, which only allows Indian carriers that have operated on domestic routes for five years and a fleet of 20 aircraft to fly internationally.
"We are considering modernising Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports also through a PPP model, and awarding management contracts for Chennai and Kolkata airports. There is no country in the world which has a constraint like the 5/20 rule. It needs to go," said Raju to reporters in New Delhi.
The draft policy also seeks to develop infrastructure to support helicopter operations.
"While we see a major thrust on remote connectivity in the draft, the role of small aircraft operators needs to be given due consideration," said a e-mail statement from the Business Aircraft Operators' Association.
The draft policy will be examined by an expert committee consisting of government and industry stakeholders, before the finalised version is implemented in January.