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Recently government has released the National Civil Aviation Policy.  The policy aims to take flying to the masses by making it affordable and convenient, establish an integrated eco-system which will lead to significant growth of the civil aviation sector  to promote tourism, employment and balanced regional growth, enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development and  enhance ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures and e-governance.

Vision: To create an eco-system to make flying affordable for the masses and to enable 30 crore domestic ticketing by 2022 and 50 crore by 2027, and international ticketing to increase to 20 crore by 2027. Similarly, cargo volumes should increase to 10 million tonnes by 2027.

Key Features of the Policy are:

• Scrapping of the decade-old 5/20 rule and replacing it with 0/20 norm: Earlier, a domestic airline could start international operations only after five years of domestic operations and having a fleet of at least 20 aircraft. As per new rules, they will be required to deploy 20 aircraft or 20% of the total fleet size, whichever is higher on domestic routes to get international flying rights.

• Regional Connectivity Scheme: Airlines will no longer be able to charge more than Rs. 2500 for a 1-hour flight connecting two small cities. The government will provide financial support to fund airlines’ losses on such un-served routes. A 2% levy has been proposed on all domestic and international flights on metro routes to boost regional connectivity. 50 No frills Airports, also called low cost airports, will be revived in the next three years. Airlines operating from these airports will get concessions on landing, parking charges and other expenses.

• Private Security Agencies: Private security agencies comprising of retired personnel from military and para-military forces will be encouraged for non-core security functions at the airports.

• Code sharing agreements: Indian carriers will now be able to enter into such agreements with foreign carriers for any destination within India on a reciprocal basis.

• Open Sky Policy: India will have this policy for countries beyond the 5000 km radius from Delhi on a reciprocal basis. This means that airlines from European or SAARC countries, will have unlimited access, in terms of number of flights and seats, to Indian airports, leading to increased flight frequencies with these countries.

• Growth of helicopters: This will be supported to provide connectivity to remote and inaccessible areas. Separate regulations for helicopters will be notified by DGCA.

• DGCA: Necessary administrative and financial flexibility will be provided to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for an effective aviation safety oversight system and for creating a transparent single-window system for all aviation safety related issues.

Organisations attached to civil Aviation in India

• Directorate General of Civil Aviation: It is responsible for regulation of air transport services to/from/within India and for enforcement of civil air regulations, air safety, and airworthiness standards. 

• Bureau of Civil Aviation Security: The main responsibilities of BCAS include laying down standards and measures with respect to security of civil flights at international and domestic airports in India. 

• Air India: It is owned by Air India Limited, a Government of India enterprise and operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving 84 domestic and international destinations.

• Airports Authority of India: It aims at accelerating the integrated development, expansion, and modernization of the operational, terminal and cargo facilities at the airports in the country conforming to international standards.  

• Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. : Its objective is to provide helicopter support services to the Oil Sector for its off-shore exploration operations, services in remote and hilly areas as well as charter services for promotion of travel and tourism.