[New Delhi]Airlines Challenges Development Charges @Rs 8500 In HC
The proposal to levy Rs 7500 to Rs 8500 per flight operated by Indian airlines to create a fund to develop regional airports under its UDAN scheme was today challenged in Delhi High Court which sought to know the government’s stand on the matter.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and sought their replies by December 21 regarding the challenge to the levy, which comes into effect from tomorrow.
The order came on the petition by Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) which has said that while the scheme allows it to pass on the levy to the passengers, it cannot do so as it is not a fee for which the carriers are rendering any service to the flyers.
The FIA, which represents scheduled carriers like Indigo, GoAir, Spicejet and Jet Airways, has sought quashing of the October 21 notification inserting the rule for imposing the levy as well as the November 9 order declaring rates of levy and the categories of the scheduled flights on which they would be imposed.
FIA, represented by senior advocate Arvind P Datar, said the levy would put an “immense financial burden”, estimated between Rs 388 crore to Rs 532 crore or more per annum, and sought orders prohibiting the AAI from collecting the levy.
It said that if the financial burden was passed on to the flyers, it would lead to an increase in tariff which would run counter to objectives of the National Civil Aviation Policy and the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme under it to bring airfares down to affordable rates.
UDAN, as per the Centre, seeks to connect small cities by air as well as make flying more affordable for the people
Tag: Director General of Civil Aviation
[New Delhi]I)Down Graded Indian Aviation Regulator DGCA Now To Watch Health Of Pilots
DGCA has set a committee to look into the norms for checking pilots’ health in the wake of the recent German wings plane crash.
“There is a committee which is looking into it (the norms for assessing pilots health),” Director General of Civil Aviation M Sathiyavathy told reporters.She, however, refused to elaborate more on the issue.
“I cannot comment further,” Sathiyavathy said.The move by Directorate General of Civil Aviation comes in the wake of the recent Germanwings airline plane crash in the Alps in which it is alleged that a mentally disturbed co-pilot crashed the plane killing all 150 people onboard.
As of now, nine domestic airlines, which employ over 3,000 pilots, carry out such tests on their pilots at the point of induction but there are no subsequent appraisals of their mental state. They, however, undergo physical fitness tests every six months.
Sathiyavathy also said that the DGCA is also recertifying all flying schools and non-scheduled operators, following the restoration of India’s aviation safety rating back to the top category by the US aviation watchdog Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) early this month.
The FAA had downgraded India from Category I to Category II last January.
“For re-certification, we took up Air India and Jet Airways on a priority basis as they fly to the United States.
Then we took up Vistara, Air Pegasus and Air Costa (the two regional carriers operating out of the southern region). Other scheduled airlines are being taken up now,” DGCA said.
The re-certifcation implies that the aviation regulator is satisfied that the airlines meet all the prescribed safety and security norms.She was speaking on the sidelines of a function jointly organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce
The function was organised to announce the dates for the 5th edition of the India Aviation international conference- exhibition in Hyderabad from March 16 next year. .