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Indian carriers may soon be able to import aircraft without prior govt nod

Sunday, 19 July,New Delhi:Indian airlines will no longer require prior permission to import aircraft as the Civil Aviation Ministry plans to do away with the norm to facilitate ease of doing business.

The move is part of a slew of initiatives taken to improve business conditions in the domestic aviation sector.

The Ministry also expects to soon unveil the much-awaited aviation policy that would help attract more investments into the sector, which has been bleeding for years due to red tapism and over regulations.

Officials said the Ministry is actively considering to do away with the prior approval requirement for importing aircraft.

The idea is to bring down the procedural steps in order to improve the ease of doing business.

At the same time, it would be ensured that security and other key aspects are not compromised, they added.

The Ministry has already written to the Commerce and Industry Ministry as well as the RBI on the matter, they said.

At present, domestic airlines should have approval in place from the Ministry before they seek clearance from the Commerce and Industry Ministry, and the RBI.

When asked for his views about the proposal of shelving prior approval need for aircraft import, no-frills carrier SpiceJet’s Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said reducing the red tape is always good.

To cater to the rising number of travellers, carriers are looking to expand their fleet.

Leading aircraft makers — Airbus and Boeing — have projected increased demand from India for new aircraft in the coming decades.

Last month, Airbus had said that growing passenger traffic in India and other emerging markets would help generate aircraft demand worth $5 trillion in 20 years.

Besides, India is projected to be the world’s third-largest aviation market by 2029, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“We see the potential for that to increase to nearly 280 million by 2029, by which time India would hold the rank of the world’s third-largest market, and by the end of our forecast period in 2034, we see a further rise to 360 million passengers.

“That amazing growth will bring even more benefits to India’s development,” IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler had said recently.