Govt scraps Aircraft Acquisition Committee

After allowing 49 per cent FDI in aviation sector, the government on Thursday moved a step closer to liberalising the civil aviation space by abolishing the Aircraft Acquisition Committee, a nodal agency which until now cleared requests by airlines and private individuals seeking to import aircraft.

“The 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,” an official statement said.

It said aviation regulator DGCA will carry out the necessary formalities for airlines, private parties and flight training schools to get their fleet of planes or helicopters.

The ministry said the decision will remove duplication and reduce delays in seeking approval for acquisition of new aircraft. It is also expected to 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,” the statement said.

 Analysts welcomed the decision saying the government should play the role of facilitator in the import of aircraft by private players in a purely market-driven industry. The step is expected to help the industry expand its capacity.

At present India has only one commercial aircraft for every 3.2 million population, compared with Philippines that has one for 9 lakh people, China for every 1.14 million and Brazil, one for every 6 lakh citizens.

Opening of the aviation sector is important at a time when India is poised to emerge as the world's fastest growing aviation market in the decade to come; also, air travel has nearly doubled as rising disposable incomes have resulted in air travel as a preferred mode over rail.  

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