Civil Aviation Security Advisory Council to be set up soon

This was disclosed by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry.

With security being a major aspect, it was imperative that all aspects of security were debated and additional measures recommended with the involvement of all stakeholders, including experts, an official spokesperson said.

The Minister informed the Committee members that a Civil Aviation Security Advisory Council would be set up soon, along the lines of the recently set up Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council and the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council, an official spokesperson said.

With members expressing concern over the steep rise in airfares, he briefed them on the several recent steps to reduce fares and ensure transparency in ticket pricing taken by the Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

He said though the Government did not regulate fares in this de-regulated sector, the fact that excessive airfares were being charged by airlines was noted as "an issue of concern which was being addressed".

Patel said that constant and strict vigil would continue on the airfares of all airlines and added that a huge growth was being expected in the Indian aviation sector "in the very immediate future which would have to be managed in a safe, secure and transparent manner".

He said that India has re-established its position as a major emerging aviation force in the world by getting elected to the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council in the number three position, way ahead of major countries like UK, USA and France, the spokesperson said.

At the meeting, the MPs raised a number of issues ranging from development of non-metro airports and multiple airports in metros like Delhi to developing of greenfield airports and shortage of helicopter pilots.

The members also raised issues concerning the health of national carrier Air India, its falling market shares, losses, crew position and the management of its no-frill subsidiary Air India Express.

In response, Patel directed the DGCA to issue immediate regulations regarding provision of at least one stretcher compulsorily on every commercial flight out of the Leh Airport to ferry ill or injured persons.

On shortage of helicopter pilots, he said new rules for conversion from airplane pilot licence to those for helicopters was in the advanced stage of amendments, which would enable commercial pilot licence holders to convert their licences to fly helicopters to meet this shortage.

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