New civil aviation policy likely in 10 days

NEW DELHI:A lot of the debate was centred on the controversial 5/20 rule, which permits only airlines with five years of experience and twenty aircraft, to fly on overseas routes. The legacy carriers – IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Jet Airways – wanted a continuance of the rule while the new carriers – AirAsia India and Vistara – wanted it scrapped. It has been reported that in the draft sent to the Cabinet the suggestion to allow higher foreign investment limit of 74% compared to the current 49% has been dropped

The new civil aviation policy that was submitted to the Union cabinet for approval last week is likely to be cleared in 10 days, said civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey.
The policy draft, which has gone through a long drawn deliberation and seen several revisions for more than a year, was finally submitted to the Cabinet last Friday.
A lot of the debate was centred on the controversial 5/20 rule, which permits only airlines with five years of experience and twenty aircraft, to fly on overseas routes. The legacy carriers – IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Jet Airways – wanted a continuance of the rule while the new carriers – AirAsia India and Vistara – wanted it scrapped.
“Once we sent it (the draft aviation policy) to the Cabinet, then it is for the Cabinet to decide. They have several such matters that come up. We are not able to commit on their behalf as to when they will clear it (policy) but our expectation is that in about next 10 days, we should be in a position to get Cabinet’s approval. But, it is (only) an expectation,” said the official on the sidelines of an Air India event to commission a 50 kilowatt (kw) roof-top solar plant.
Choubey said the ministry had tried to take suggestions of all the stakeholders without “compromising much”.
It has been reported that in the draft sent to the Cabinet the suggestion to allow higher foreign investment limit of 74% compared to the current 49% has been dropped. The new policy extensively dwells on improving regional connectivity.
Speaking on the corporate environment policy of the ministry, he said it would be looking at bringing down dependence on fossil fuel over time and move to more environmentally friendly energy.
“Our dependence of fossil fuel should come down. There is no dearth of sunlight in India, we have to find a way to convert it into solar electricity. The beginning has been made at Air India building (in New Delhi). It should be taken further by Airports Authority of India (AAI),” he said.
AAI is planning to generate 100 megawatt (mw) of solar power over the next three years.
“Many airports have huge land. We should put up ground mounted solar plant at these airports,” he urged.
Air India, chairman and managing director, Ashwani Lohani, said the state-owned would also be putting up more roof-top solar plants on its building to cut electricity cost.
“This is the first such plant and there will be many more,” he said.