The Civil Aviation Ministry
("Ministry") has simplified norms for
import of aircrafts into India by abolishing the Aircraft
Acquisition Committee ("AAC"). An
initial No Objection Certificate ("NOC")
to launch scheduled or non-scheduled air transport services and
in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft is still required
from the Ministry, as this is a statutory requirement under the
Aircraft Rules and Reserve Bank of India guidelines. But, the
permission for actual induction of aircraft is no longer required
from the Ministry.
PSA view- AAC, which was
established in October 2012, required the civil aviation minister
to approve each aircraft import request personally. This resulted
in serious delays for airline operators, which in turn, affected
their commercial decisions to acquire and fly new planes and, thus,
the profits. It is illogical to have multiple steps in one process,
especially when there is a mere duplication without much value
addition. The goal should be to minimize delays, increase
efficiency and reduce time lags in approval processes to make the
system investor-friendly. With this step, the Ministry is moving
towards a more liberalized aviation regime.
Airlines plan on hiring more expat pilots
According to media reports, many domestic airline operators,
including Jet Airways have planned to hire expat pilots due to lack
of experienced Indian pilots. Many such airlines have approached
recruiting agencies, despite the December 2013 deadline implemented
by the DGCA for aircrafts such as the Boeing 777, for which, there
are inadequate trained pilots in India who can command the
PSA view-While it is
reasonable for airlines to staff their flights with expat pilots
due to unavailability of adequately trained pilots, it will be
interesting to see how airlines tackle this situation with the
deadline to phase out expat pilots closing in. In-house training of
pilots seems to be the only solution available for airlines,
considering the lack of adequate training institutes for all types
of aircrafts and it seems the cost is going to be borne ultimately
by the consumer.
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Nishith Desai Associates is a research-based Indian law firm with offices in Mumbai, Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Singapore, Mumbai BKC, Delhi and Munich that aims at providing strategic, legal and tax...
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