New civil aviation policy strict on aircraft import


The Civil Aviation Policy 2020 which was recently drafted includes more stringent provisions for airline operators while purchasing aircraft.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) had published the final draft of new Civil Aviation Policy on Thursday.

The draft mentions that airline companies will not be allowed to bring aircraft that are older than 12 years. Prior to this, the limit was 15 years.

Similarly, companies are not allowed to purchase aircraft that have completed 35,000 pressurisation circle and 50 per cent economic design life.

Meanwhile, the policy now has a provision that allows any individual to purchase and operate private jets. Prior to this, there was no such provision. However, such private aircraft cannot be used for any business purpose.

The draft has also mentioned that domestic airlines that provide flight services continuously for five years will be permitted to operate international flights if they wish to do so. However, the airline operators will have to operate at least three aircraft in the domestic sector.

The draft also mentions about the independent accident investigation mechanism.

Till date, there was a trend of forming an investigation committee by the ministry-level meeting.

However, from now on a separate investigation mechanism will be formed with all resources.

Earlier, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had also suggested to form such a mechanism.

Furthermore, the government has tightened the procedure of providing the air operator’s certificate (AOC) to airline companies.

The draft has mentioned that airline operators who want to obtain an AOC for international flight operations must have paid-up capital of Rs one billion. Prior to this, the paid-up capital limit was Rs 500 million.

Similarly, for domestic flight operations, airline companies must have Rs 250 million paid-up capital while the current amount is only Rs 150 million.

Once the new policy comes to form, both the CAAN and MoCTCA expect the country’s aviation sector to be more regulated and developed.

The government is preparing the new civil aviation act after a gap of 14 years.

Note: The erroneous phrase 'Civil Aviation Act' which has been corrected to 'Civil Aviation Policy'. Apologies to our readers for the inconvenience caused by the inadvertent error.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.