Govt to remove prior approval norm for aircraft import

Govt to remove prior approval norm for aircraft import

In a bid to simplify procedural requirements, the Civil Aviation Ministry has moved a proposal to do away with the prior approval norm for importing aircraft.

The ministry has written to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and the RBI requesting them to amend their rules on import of goods and services.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Monday that they have sought amending the requirement for airlines seeking prior approval of the ministry for import of aircraft.

At present, a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) is required from the ministry before any scheduled or regional carrier wants to import an aircraft.

He said that several steps have been taken to improve conditions for aviation business in the country, including dissolution of Aircraft Acquisition Committee in 2013 and direct import of jet fuel by airlines.

Another measure was allowing 49 per cent Foreign Direct Investment in domestic airlines. External Commercial Borrowings up to $1 billion has been permitted for airlines to meet their working capital requirement, he said, adding the issue of rationalisation of jet fuel has also been taken up with state governments.

Airbus and Boeing have projected increase in demand from India for new aircraft in the coming years. In June, Airbus had said that growing passenger traffic in India would help generate aircraft demand worth $5 trillion in 20 years.

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