In the process of finalizing a new civil aviation policy, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation summoned a meeting last week with the Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) to discuss challenges faced by general aviation in India. The association's proposals are likely to be considered for incorporation into new policy.
The BAOA’s major recommendations include rationalization of the business aircraft import duty, which is 2.6 percent for charter operators but 19.6 percent for private operators. Also on the association’s list is infrastructure for business aviation at airports, specifically the release of parking slots, establishment of FBOs and a subsidy for charter operators planning to operate flights on regional routes, BAOA managing director RK Bali told AIN. “There needs to be some rationalization to take care of losses of smaller operators during the interim period,” he said.
The BAOA is engaged in a legal battle with Mumbai International Airport in India's highest court contesting its strict parking slots policy.
“India has a long way to go to catch up with a mature market like the U.S., which clearly draws a line between commercial and noncommercial operators,” Bali said. He will be presenting an overview of the challenges the industry faces at the U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program meeting in Bangalore later this year.