India's Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh stated (21-Mar-2013) in a "major decision", the Indian Government has "done away with the control over acquisition of aircraft by scheduled and non-scheduled operators, private operators and flying training institutes". The permission for actual induction of aircraft will no longer be required from Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). Henceforth, only initial No Objection Certificate for operating scheduled air transport services and non-scheduled air transport services including regional air transport services, and in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft by scheduled operators will be required from the MoCA. The Minister has also abolished the Aircraft Acquisition Committee (AAC) as it is no more relevant. The matter relating to initial No Objection Certificate and in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft by scheduled operators will now be processed by concerned Division of the Ministry. At present, MoCA’s approval is required for issuing initial No Objection Certificate in cases of scheduled airlines, non-scheduled airlines, flying institutes and private category. Besides this, MoCA’s approval is also required for acquisition of aircraft by scheduled and non-scheduled operators, flying training institutes and for private use and also for replacement of aircraft. After implementation of this decision, no approval from MoCA will be required by anybody for actual import/replacement of aircraft and all such cases will be dealt by the DGCA for completion of necessary formalities. This decision is "another major step towards liberalisation in the civil aviation sector after allowing 49% FDI in airlines". This will remove duplication and also reduce delays in seeking approval and will do away with the cumbersome procedure which airlines have to follow before acquisition of aircraft. The decision will help airlines to plan better for future induction of aircraft and also maintain timeliness of acquisition. [more - original PR]
India Government removes control over aircraft purchases by local carriers
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