Civil Aviation has been identified as one of the most
important growth engines essential for the economic growth of the country.
Besides providing air transport for passengers and goods, it facilitates growth
of trade and commerce, domestic and foreign investments, transfer of
technology, creation of infrastructure, domestic and international tourism and
generation of employment etc.
Air transport in India has witnessed enormous growth in the
recent past. During the last 10 years, compounded annual growth rate of
passenger traffic has been approximately 15%. A key trend in the business model
of the Indian Carriers in the domestic operations is that the domestic traffic
is rapidly shifting to Low Cost Carriers (LCC). From a level of about 1% in
2003-2004, the market share of LCC including the LCC arm of full service
carriers is today exceeding 70% of the total domestic traffic.
India is likely to be the fastest
growing aviation market in the world in the next 20 years. Estimates suggest
that the domestic air traffic will touch 160–180 million passengers per annum
in the next 10 years and the international traffic will exceed 80 million
passengers per annum from the current level of 60 million domestic and 40
million international passengers respectively. According to
International Air Transport Association’s Airline Industry Forecast 2012-2016,India's domestic air travel market
would be among the top five globally, experiencing the second highest growth
Keeping this in mind, a number of steps have been taken
by the Government to accelerate the pace of growth of airline industry in the
country. These have been summarized as follows:
1. EXPANSION AND UPGRADATION OF AIRPORTS:
At present 5 major
airports are being operationalized under PPP mode at New Delhi, Mumbai,
Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin. The new Terminal Building is under construction at Mumbai airport with Phase I of it for international operations likely to be ready by
August, 2013, while Phase II for domestic operations will be ready by August,
2014. The existing
Greenfield airport at Bangaluru is undergoing Phase-II expansion to meet the
growing capacity demand. Airports Authority of India
has undertaken expansion and upgradation of airports at Kolkata and Chennai.The Government of India has also approved 15 more airports under the
Greenfield Airports Policy being developed, majority under PPP mode.
Airports Authority of
India (AAI) is upgrading and modernizing airport infrastructure at Chennai,
Kolkata and select non-metro airports in the country. During the year 2012, airport infrastructure
has been developed and upgraded as below:
New Integrated terminals
equipped with modern state-of-the-art facilities commissioned at Indore,
Lucknow and Raipur airports.
Development of new Civil
Enclaves completed at Bhatinda and Jaisalmer airports.
New Domestic terminals
completed / expanded at Rajahmundhry, Pudducherri and Gondia airports.
Development of Jalgaon
airport completed and commissioned for ATR-72 type of aircraft operations.
Airside apron capacity
increased at Chennai, Kolkata, Jammu, Surat and Tirupathi airports.
Integrated Cargo Terminal
completed at Chennai at a cost of Rs. 144.93 crores. Total enhanced handling capacity is 11 lacs
New terminals at
Bhubaneswar and Ranchi airports are completed and shall be operationalized
shortly after pre-commissioning trials of various services.
Expansion and upgradation
of airports at Chennai and Kolkata is completed at a cost of Rs. 2015 crores
and Rs.2325 crores respectively. Trial operations have been successfully
conducted through new terminal and are expected to be commissioned in January –
Work has commenced for
development of new Civil Enclave at Chandigarh Airport (Mohali side).
Solar Photo-voltaic power
plants have been commissioned at Corporate Headquarters at Safdarjung Airports,
Jaisalmer, Guwahati and Raipur airports as initiative under Sustainable
Declaration of Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore,
Mangalore, Varanasi and Lucknow airports as International airports: So
far there were 17 international airports. Five new airports at Tiruchirapalli,
Coimbatore, Mangalore, Varanasi and Lucknow have been added to the list this
year. Earlier these airports were custom airports where all facilities as per
extended norms of an international airport in terms of customs, immigration,
health, animal & plant quarantine etc. were available on temporary basis.
After these airports were declared as international airports, these facilities
will be available on permanent basis which would open the door to have more
international flights to different destinations.
2. TURN AROUND / FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING PLANS OF AIR INDIA:
plan includes infusion of equity to the extent of approximately Rs. 30,000
crores over a period of next 10 years, issue of Government guaranteed
Non-Convertible Debentures amounting to Rs.7,400 crore, induction of 27 B-787
(DreamLiner) upto March, 2016 and various other measures. However, the infusion
of equity is not unconditional and shall be on the basis of achievement of
milestones which have been fixed for Air India at different stages in terms of
Passenger Load Factor (PLF), On-Time Performance (OTP), fleet utilisation,
Improvement in Performance of Air
There has been reduction in net losses of Air
India by about Rs. 650 crores in the first 6 months of financial year 2012-13.
PLF of Air India had reached 78.6% in
November 2012 as against the TAP benchmark of 69.5%.
Integration process of Indian Airlines and
Air India as per the recommendations of Justice Dharmadhikari Committee Report
is almost completed.
Computerization of Flight and Cabin Crew
Management System (Auto Roster) is in progress.
It will be operational for pilots by January, 2013 and for cabin crew by
February-March 2013. The new system is an algorithm that will automate the task
of Flight Duty Assignments based on user defined rules, policies, parameters
and constraints. Auto-Roster aims to equalize the flying hours (for past period
or the roster period), sector flown (number of times and last date flown), day
& night flights (diurnal distribution), flight operations type (domestic,
regional, international), crew pairing rotation, number of landings and other
Three B-787 Dreamliner aircrafts have been
received and five more will be received during the current financial year.
Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) for
Pilots and Cabin Crew has been implemented.
Hiving off of MRO and Ground Handling
Businesses of Air India into separate subsidiaries is in progress after
approval given by the Government. Air
India Engineering Services subsidiary will take care of maintenance, repair and
overhaul (MRO); while Air India Transport Services Services will take care of
ground handling services, which includes jobs like ticket check-in into wholly
owned subsidiaries of the airline.
Up-to-date payment of salaries to staff till
the month of November, 2012 has been made.
No more free excess baggage is being allowed
in Air India to anybody now.
BY FOREIGN AIRLINES IN INDIAN CIVIL AVIATION:
has allowed 49% FDI by the foreign airlines in the domestic carriers. It is
expected that this step would bring in much needed equity infusion in the
domestic carriers. The FDI will be subject to certain safeguards including
Government approval route and compliance with all applicable rules and
regulations of SEBI. It will require clearance from Home Ministry and FIPB.
OF INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC RIGHTS
Government has adopted a pragmatic policy to allocate traffic rights to private
Indian carriers on various international routes. In November, 2012, the traffic
rights to Indian carriers were allocated much in advance upto Winter-2013
season so as to remove uncertainties about traffic rights and give them enough
time for making their preparations. The total bilateral traffic rights
allocated to Indian carriers including Air India upto Summer-2012 were 1074
services per week, have now increased to the level of 1695 services per week in
the next Winter-2013 schedule, which is an enhancement of more than 60%.
Besides this, a number of new international routes have been opened for Indian
carriers to fly in the next 3 seasons as follows:
India: Delhi-Rome-Madrid/ Barcelona; Delhi-Moscow; Delhi-Sydney/
Melbourne; Mumbai-Nairobi, Mumbai-Al Najaf (Iraq)
Airways: Mumbai-Jakarta; Delhi-Barcelona; Mumbai-Zurich;
Delhi-Tashkent; Mumbai-Ho Chi Minh City
Al Najaf (Iraq); Varanasi- Al Najaf (Iraq); Delhi-Macau; Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City
5. INITIATIVES IN THE AREA OF AIR
Authority of India (AAI) has taken a number of initiatives to upgrade Airport
and Airspace infrastructure to cater to the continued growth in air traffic
with enhanced safety and efficiency. AAI as Air Navigation Service Provider,
responsible for provision of Air Navigation Services in the delegated airspace,
has embarked upon ANS infrastructure upgradation strategy with the objective of
ensuring safety, efficiency, cost-effectiveness of aircraft operations with
environmental benefits on a long-term and sustainable basis. The comprehensive
strategy has been to transition from voice to data-link, transition from ground
based navigation to satellite based navigation,
augmentation of Radar surveillance, implementation of ATM Automation and enhancement in ATM procedures.
Navigation: AAI has
installed 66 Instrument landing systems and 93 VOR/DME which provide
navigational guidance to aircraft. In addition, Satellite Based Navigation
System (SBAS) called GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system is being
jointly developed and implemented by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The GAGAN is designed to provide the
improved accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary to enable users to
rely on GPS for all phases of flight, from en route through approach for all
qualified airports within the GAGAN service volume. GAGAN will also provide
increased positional accuracy of aircraft thereby permitting enhanced safety
and operational efficiency. The system will be commissioned by June 2013. India
is the fourth country in the world, after USA, JAPAN and Europe to take up the
challenge of establishing the regional SBAS Navigation System which will
redefine the navigation over Indian airspace and other states falling in the
footprint of GAGAN.
Enhanced Air and Ground Surveillance: In addition
to the existing Radars at 13 sites, 9 more Secondary Surveillance Radars have been commissioned to ensure that
aircraft are seen on the Radar display by the controllers throughout their
flight from departure to destination. This ensures safety, provision of reduced
distance between aircraft allowing the controller to accommodate more flights
in a given airspace/airport. 8 more Radars are also under implementation to
ensure total seamless radar coverage in the country. 14 ADS-B (Automatic
Dependent Surveillance –Broadcast) systems which support Radar-like services
have also been installed at 14 airports to provide back-up cover to Radars. ADS-B will also provide
direct routing to aircraft in medium-density airports (where Radar is not
installed), thereby accommodating more number of arrivals/departures from those
ATM Automation: Advanced
ATM Automation Systems have been implemented at 38 airports in addition to
Metro airports, providing the controllers with advanced Safety nets, tools and
safety features for enhancing safety and efficiency.
Integration of Radar Data into Automation
system: Radar data from Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Porbander and Udaipur Radars have
been integrated in to the Automation system at Ahmedabad.
Enhancement in ATM procedures: Performance
Based Navigation procedures exploiting avionics & ground infrastructure and
providing optimized and accurate flight paths for departures and arrivals have
been implemented at all major airports. The initiative has enhanced Safety and
efficiency of aircraft operations.
to the above initiatives that have enhanced safety, efficiency and capacity of
airspace and airports, AAI is implementing Air Traffic Flow Management which
will ensure that air traffic demand and capacity is balanced and delay to
aircraft in the air and ground is eliminated.
Due to above
efforts for safety, the International Jane’s ATC Award 2102 was conferred on
AAI at Amsterdam for achieving best operational efficiency among many major
ANSPs in the world is a testimony to AAI’s ANS achievements in the Region.
6. SIMPLIFICATION OF PROCEDURE FOR SANCTION
OF BUILDINGS AROUND AIRPORTS
has decided to do away with the system of taking NOC from AAI every time and
has now prescribed the height at different distances from the airports upto
which the local municipal authority will be empowered to sanction the map as
per their bye-laws. In this regard, Airports Authority of India (AAI) would
prepare colour coded zoning maps in a grid format for each airport. For
buildings whose height exceeds the height indicated in the zoning map, the
designated officer/office of AAI would assess the obstructions to be caused by
the proposed building. If the design and orientation of the proposed building
can suitably be amended to meet the regulations, NOC may be given, otherwise
In the year 2012, scheduled
domestic airlines operated more than 11,500 departures per week connecting 77
airports. A new daily flight has been introduced from 26th December,
2012 on the route Delhi-Varanasi-Agra-Khajuraho to link these cities of
historical importance on air map.
8. HELICOPTER CONNECTIVITY TO VRINDAVAN
Vrindavan was connected with
Delhi by Helicopter service from 28th November, 2012. The service is being
operated by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. Pawan.
9. AIRCARFT ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION BUREAU
Government has set up an Aircraft
Accident Investigation Bureau to efficiently investigate the accidents and to
recommend effective corrective measures.
TO IMPORT ATF
has allowed import of ATF by Indian carriers, which will bring much required
competition among the oil marketing companies apart from huge cost saving to
the India carriers.
11. OTHER PRIORITY ISSUES BEFORE THE
Development of Low Cost Airports: In
an endeavour to provide air connectivity to different parts of India,
development of low cost airports is the most important component. Instructions
have been issued to AAI to identify the most suitable low cost model for
development of smaller airports and to develop airports in the smaller cities
based on this mode.
to Smaller and Remote Parts of India: The top most priority is to provide
air connectivity to remote and interior areas of the country, North Eastern
Region, Tier-II & Tier-III cities of India and other smaller cities of the
country. Connectivity which is proposed to be provided would be customer
oriented in terms of affordability and cost of travel. The Ministry has engaged
internationally renowned firm “Deloitte” as a Consultant to identify the factors
that are inhibiting the growth of domestic connectivity and what needs to be
done in this regard. The outcome of the study will form the basis of the
implementation of various measures for providing better domestic connectivity. This would also include enhancement of
present operations of helicopters and construction of heliports to improve the
connectivity to smaller places including the places of religious and tourist
Enhancement of Helicopter
connectivity: The Government is also working to
develop Heliports in different parts of the country to make Helicopter
operations to inaccessible areas for the purpose of air connectivity,
religious, other tourism and for medical purposes. Pawan Hans with a mix fleet of about
50 Helicopters has a cliental from diversified sectors. It is successfully
operating Helicopter services to several pilgrim centres including Mata Vaishno
Devi, Kedarnathji, Amarnathji, Vrindavan and Badrinathji. It is also operating
services in Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Andaman & Nicobar
Islands and Lakshadweep and plans to shortly start services in Himachal Pradesh
and Arunachal Pradesh. Pawan Hans is now planning to venture into fixed wing
aircraft and seaplane operations. It has also recently conducted a detailed
study in Uttar Pradesh to connect Buddhist Circuit in association with UP
Tourism by Helicopter and has plans to extend Helicopter services on these
destinations in near future.
Creation of Civil Aviation
Authority: To manage the phenomenal growth of air traffic with safety,
an effective, autonomous and professional regulatory body is required and a
Bill in this regard will soon be brought before the Parliament.
of Civil Aviation Security Force: To
strengthen the Civil Aviation Security in the country, Ministry of Civil
Aviation engaged a team of experts from the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) to carry out a detailed study of the existing security
system at the airports and suggest measures to improve the same. The ICAO study
report, which has been accepted by the Government, has suggested establishing a
dedicated Aviation Security Force (ASF) under the command and control of the
Ministry of Civil Aviation which is supposed to be completely integrated with
the aviation industry, in line with the practices across the world. To pursue
the matter further, a sub-group was constituted by the Ministry of Civil
Aviation to examine the recommendations of ICAO study report on creation of a dedicated
specialized ASF. This sub-group has also recommended constitution of a
dedicated, specialized ASF under the command and control of Ministry of Civil
Aviation. Further, necessary action has been initiated to approach Cabinet
Committee on Security for seeking its approval.
ATF Related Issues: ATF
constitutes approximately 40% to 50% of operating expenses of Indian Airlines.
Efforts are on to rationalise the price of ATF by getting it declared as a
notified product under PNGRB Act to bring it under the ambit of PNGR Board. The
major contributor to the high prices of ATF is the VAT levied by various State
Governments ranging from 4% to 30%. Efforts are also on to persuade the State
Governments to reduce the VAT on ATF so as to bring down the prices of ATF and
discussions with a number of States have already taken place in this regard. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has also
proposed to include ATF in the list of declared goods.
augmentation in civil aviation sector through a vibrant, world class aviation
education and training:
In this regard, the work to establish a Civil Aviation University is under progress.