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Aviation policy in final stage: Raju

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Hyderabad: The NDA government’s new aviation policy is in the final stages and it will be referred to the Cabinet for approval, even as the draft policy received over three lakh views and suggestions, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today.

“Aviation policy has reached the final stages…and I think we have to do one or two more sittings. We (in Government of India) have a procedure…we have to put a Cabinet note and then decisions will be arrived at. And once the decisions are arrived at, it will be a question of implementability,” Raju said.

“Lot of discussions have taken place. For the first time suggestions on the draft policy had been called and three lakh odd people have given their suggestions including for and against…so, whatever it is all that has been sorted out and they are working on it,” he said.

Raju was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the e-boarding facility to domestic fliers at the GMR group-run Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here.

Replying to a query on the 5/20 rule, the minister said it would come up before Cabinet, which will take a final call.

The 5/20 rule bars domestic airlines from flying overseas unless they have completed five years of domestic flying and have a fleet of 20 aircraft.

Many Indian carriers, including Air India, have been strongly opposing abolishing the rule.

On the deportation of Indian students (mostly from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) headed for two California universities by the US, Raju said, “We request our students to do due diligence which is required and get into reputable institutions.”

“It is a matter of concern. These institutions where children are going and not able to enter, they don’t seem to have that type of reputation if you take all the institutions in US,” the minister said. .