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Government likely to formulate civil aviation policy by year-end: Union Minister Ashok Raju

New Delhi(PTI): The government is trying to put in place the new civil aviation policy by end of this year after consultations, Union Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Friday.

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The Civil Aviation Ministry has extended the deadline for submitting public comments on the draft policy till November 30. The earlier deadline was November 21.

Responding to a query on whether the new policy would be ready by year end, Raju said, “that is what we are trying to do (by this year end)”.

According to the Civil Aviation Minister, the Parliamentary Consultative committee meeting on November 30 would discuss the draft policy. He was speaking on the sidelines of a summit organised by industry body PHD Chamber here.

The much-awaited draft policy, unveiled on October 30, proposes to provide a conducive environment and a level playing field to all stakeholders.

Among others, it has suggested measures to boost regional connectivity, various tax sops and over 50 per cent FDI in local carriers subject to certain conditions.

The policy has also proposed open sky policy on reciprocal basis with SAARC countries and countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi, helicopter policy, levy of two per cent on all domestic and international tickets on all routes to fund regional connectivity and sops to MRO industry.

Private carriers, under the banner of Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), had reportedly sought more time to submit their views. Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir are the members of FIA. Two new airline – AirAsia India and Vistara – have not yet been given membership.

The draft policy has not provided a finality on the fate of the contentious 5/20 norm under which airlines with minimum five years of flying experience and 20 aircraft only are allowed to fly overseas.

With regard to 5/20 rule, the Ministry has sought comments on three options — abolish the norm completely, continue with it, or link the overseas flying rights with domestic flying credits.