Union Minister of State (MoS) for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma released the Draft Aviation Policy 2015 that could lower the cost of flying within Asia’s third largest economy and boost regional connectivity.
- To facilitate flying for India’s 300 million odd middle class.
- In its draft policy, the government proposed reducing the cost of operations, providing tax breaks for various costs like Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service providers.
Highlights of the Draft Aviation Policy-2015
- The Union civil aviation ministry has kept all the options open on international flying norms, known as the ‘5/20 rule’.
- The government has decided not to scrap the route dispersal guidelines which mandate airlines to fly to remote areas.
- The Union government has opened up the skies for destinations 5,000 km away from New Delhi thereby helping Europe, Australia, South America among other countries.
- The government announced giving foreign airlines traffic rights to key destinations within seven hours of flying away from India (Gulf region, Middle East and South East Asia).
- The government will “consider” opening up the skies for these short-haul destinations from 1 April 2020.
- ) A regional connectivity scheme, which will come into effect from 1 April 2016, has been framed wherein airfares for a one-hour flight will be capped at Rs 2,500.
- Reduce the value added tax (VAT) on aviation fuel to 1% or less on these airports.
- The government wanted to make India a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) hub in Asia.The service tax on output services of MRO will be zero.
- Indian carriers will be free to enter into code-share agreements with foreign carriers for any destination within the country on a reciprocal basis.
- Airlines allowed to self handle the services at airports, which include check-in, luggage handling, aircraft cleaning and servicing, loading and unloading of food and beverages.
*Union Minister of State (MoS) for Civil Aviation: Mahesh Sharma