Tag: Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma

Centre ,Taking U Turn, Denies Capping of Airfares

[New Delhi], Centre ,Taking U Turn, Denies Capping of Airfares
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Exhibiting this U Turn, said restricting the airfares will not make good business sense as it could also jeopardise the government’s regional connectivity plan as such a move may discourage airlines to fly on non-profitable routes.
He, however, said a slew of passenger-centric measures including “time-bound” grievance redressal mechanism would be unveiled very soon, emphasising that India’s civil aviation market was the fastest growing in domestic passenger travel demand.
It is expected that the government was going to announce steps to rationalise the ticket cancellation charges and they are likely to be capped around the base fare, as against current exorbitant fees, as part of passenger-friendly initiatives.
The Minister said at least 32 airports built by Airport Authority of India at a cost of at least Rs 3,000 crore over the years were lying “unconnected” and putting any restriction on market-driven fares may jeopardize government’s plan to start flight services to those airports.
Holding that putting a cap on airfares may have an adverse impact on growth of aviation sector, Raju said his Ministry keeps a “continuous tab” on price movements to ensure that the rates are under check.
His comments come at a time when the government is discussing ways to address issues related to steep fluctuations in airfares, especially during peak seasons and natural calamities.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma last month had announced that capping of fares will be announced soon.
India’s domestic aviation market has clocked a growth rate of 22%in the last one year, the highest for any country. .

Modi Govt to Soon Announce Mechanism To Cap Airfares

[New Delhi]Modi Govt to Soon Announce Policy to Cap Airfares
Airfares usually go up by around 40-50 per cent during the festive seasons and vacations. The airlines had faced severe criticism when the fares had even touched as high as Rs 50,000 for a one way ticket between Bengaluru and Delhi during the Chennai floods in December last year.
The fares had gone up significantly during the recent Jat agitation as well.
Central Government is now finally going to announce a mechanism soon to curb high airfares and unveil a new civil aviation policy to address all major issues affecting the sector.
The policy may be placed before the cabinet within two weeks.
As per Sources ,Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very keen to have an upper cap on the ticket price and government would announce the measures while taking views of the airlines also
Civil Aviation Minister For State Mahesh Sharma told Agency in an interview.
Aviation regulator DGCA had last week said that discussions need to be held with airlines before any decision on fixing upper cap on ticket prices.
On the civil aviation policy, which is hanging fire since for a long time, the Minister said majority of the issues were sorted out.
New Aviation Policy policy may address all the pending issues including the
5/20 norm,
regional connectivity scheme and the
ground handling issues.
Under 5/20 norm, a domestic airline cannot fly overseas unless it has completed five years of operation on local routes and has a fleet of 20 aircraft.

Airport Authority Of India To Have More Air Traffic Controllers

[New Delhi] Airport Authority Of India To Have More Air Traffic Controllers
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will create additional posts of air traffic control officers.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma today said in Rajya Sabha that there is no acute shortage of air traffic control officers (ATCOs).
He said “In order to meet the current and future requirements i.e. to cope with the growing requirement of air space and air traffic management, the AAI board has approved creation of additional posts of ATCOs in various grades,”
Through US-based Washington Consultancy Group, AAI had conducted a study on long-term manpower requirement for air traffic management.
“As per this report, the requirement of ATCOs would be 3,599 up to the year 2020. The report of WCG was reviewed by AAI and replaced it with ATM Staffing Policy & Guidelines in November 2015 which is implemented in a phased manner and inducted 169 ATCOs in 2015,”
To a separate query, the minister said that in the last three years, the government has given ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up of a greenfield international airport at Dholera in Gujarat.Besides, the government has granted ‘site clearance’ for “greenfield airports at Bhiwadi (Alwar) in Rajasthan and at three locations in Andhra Pradesh, namely Bhogapuram (Vijayanagaram), Dagadarthi (Nellore) and Oravakallu (Kurnool)”,
The minister also said construction work at the Kannur airport is at an advanced stage of completion and that the trial landing was completed on February 29.
According to Sharma, the government extends its full support to AAI in terms of grant-in-aid for execution of airport projects on need basis, apart from pursuing state governments for providing adequate land and facilitating mandatory approvals for construction of projects.

Dogs Hampers Flight Operations In Domestic Airports:Indigo Number Highest

[New Delhi] Dogs Hampers Flight Operations In Domestic Airports :Parliament Is Informed Today
As many as eight incidents of dogs straying in the runway and hampering flight operations have been reported from various domestic airports in the previous year,
In three out of the eight incidents the pilot had to reject the take off while in another the flights were told do a go-around, according to the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma.
Budget carrier IndiGo reported the highest number of such incidents (4) while AirAsia India had two cases and Spicejet one incident,
The incident of a dog straying on the runway and forcing the pilot of a private shipping company to do a go-around was also reported during the period.
Sharma said that Government is taking all measures along with all functional agencies and State authorities to effectively check the menace.
An airport environment management committee has also been constituted under the chairmanship of district authorities at airports to handle environmental issues including dog menace effectively, he said.
It monitors and controls presence of unauthorised slums, eating places, abattoirs, garbage dumping areas, carcass and open sewage which attracts birds and wildlife, the Minister added.
At vulnerable airports, vehicular entry gate is modified with double gate systems to prevent possible entry of stray animals, he said adding security agencies (CISF, State Police) is also sensitised periodically to ensure prevention of stray animals entry

Tourist Operators Demand Bridle for Carriers Domestic Air Fares

[New Delhi] Tourist Operators Demand Bridle for Carriers Domestic Air Fares
Tourist Operators[IATO] Demand Fixation Of Upper Limit for Domestic Air Fares
Pitching for capping of maximum air fares for domestic flights, a tourist operators body, IATO today said that the airlines should not be allowed to charge ticket prices beyond a limit.
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IAT0) president Subhash Goyal said
“The Government must fix an upper limit for domestic air fares. We don’t say that they should charge less or equal to their direct operating cost. But the fares should also be not beyond the reach of a common man,
He was at a function In Delhi to announce the dates for the 31st IATO Convention at Indore.
Alleging cartelisation by the airlines on this issue, he said that the government needs to check this trend.
He said that t A large number of flyers also comprise emergency travelers and they are forced to shell out huge money for last minute travel, especially in the peak seasons. They suffer a lot because of the high fares, And Lower air fares would encourage more travelers to fly,
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma was the chief guest on this occasion.
Sharma has several times in the past also expressed concern on “high fares” during the peak seasons and called for fixing lower and upper limits for economy class tickets.
However, a DGCA survey of average fares conducted over a period of one year in 2014 found that the average fares of the domestic airlines were closer to the minimum fares.