Thursday, March 15, 2012

Exclusive! No firm commitment on aviation policy

Neelam Mathews

March 15, 2012


Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh’s press conference was as tepid as expected at the India Aviation 2012 air show held in Hyderabad. Besides an announcement that India would open up some international routes, without any clarity on how the decision would be implemented, there was nothing else.

A query by Aerospace Diary on the timeline for the release of the civil aviation policy was met by the response: “We are looking at a civil aviation authority. We are in discussions on it.” So what’s new? Discussions have been on for over three years on the draft policy that has gathered dust even as infrastructure falls at its edges and investors returned home.

I am sure all the foreign and Indian participants would have liked to hear some solid plans with timelines on India looking ahead and keeping pace with China that it always manages to find a comparison to. As usual, it was all generic. Think the time has come to face reality that we haven't done enough.

Given that the show has a big focus on business aviation, it would have helped to hear more on the ailing sector that is stuck in old-fashioned perceptions of being elitist. "We boost the economy by increasing productivity and employment," said an official to Aerospace Diary. "But the government does'nt get it."

"Increasing traffic rights can help private carriers eliminate some of their financial problems as international routes are more profitable," Singh said. Would like to know the routes – mostly to Africa- will help budget carriers fly on their limited flying hours on narrow bodies!

Private carriers will get between 500-600 new international flights this year raising the Indian carriers share on international routes from the present 30% to 40%. “This share will be gradually increased in coming years,” added Singh. Rights are being granted for many countries including Egypt, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Singh said.

1 comment:

  1. India Aviation 2012 is a non starter.
    It was started to take the sheen off Aero India.
    All major policy decisions are in a state of eternal hibernation as airline after airline sinks and goes into the red.
    Look at Emirates and its galloping business all over India. They require no policy guidelines, they simply operate on simple commercial principles that recognises a giant hunger for air travel in this huge country.
    Until DGCA moves over from its Ice age beginnings as a technical compliance auditor to a CIVIL AVIATION REGULATING AUTHORITY there will be no progress and airline after airline will sink without a trace.A Babu can never metamorphose into a Tech savvy regulator.
    Remember East West airlines, MODILUFT,Damania and a host of others.
    INDIAN AVIATION 2014 will come and go but RIP VAN WINKLE will never wake up!!!