Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Govt committed to Air India disinvestment: Civil Aviation Secretary

Govt committed to Air India disinvestment: Civil Aviation Secretary

He said other models includes land pooling or shifting the airport to the outskirts of the city with the land of the current airport being monetised to develop the new airport. "State governments should consider decreasing the tax on aviation fuel, to decrease the burden on airline operators", added Choubey.

"The challenge is we need to double the capacity of our airports every five years to sustain the additional passenger footfall", he said while urging the airlines to deploy more wide-bodied aircraft such as Airbus A380 to meet the increasing demand and deal with the issue of slots at various airports.

Explaining the models, the secretary said that the government was working on a new concession model agreement defining the incentives and freedom that a private developer would be allowed in running the airport.

The government is planning to extend the regional connectivity scheme UDAN to provide affordable global flights to neighbouring countries, a Civil Aviation Ministry official said.

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Airports Authority of India (AAI) has chalked out a programme for upgradation of airports with an expenditure of Rs 18,000 crore in the next four years.

"Currently, there are 116 such airports that can be developed under this model", Choubey added.

The AAI proposes to spend Rs. 18,000 crore over four years on upgrading of airports, he said, underscoring the significance of adequate resources so the growth of airports does not lag the growth of the aviation sector.

"Currently, 80 of 120 AAI airports are functional", Choubey said, adding the government's aim is to make airports efficient to handle huge traffic.

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Choubey said that India's domestic air passenger traffic has grown over 20 per cent in the last three years.

RN Choubey also said the aviation sector in the country needs about 8,000 to 10,000 pilots during the next 5 to 6 years owing to the growth surge in the sector.

Companies including low-priced Indian carrier IndiGo, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, Tata Group and Turkey's Celebi Aviation Holdings, have expressed an interest in buying some of Air India's businesses. If the matter is referred to a select committee, it may take a little longer. "Pawan Hans revised expression of interest will also be coming forward in the same time frame", Choubey said.

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