A WORD FROM EDITOR
AS WE BID ADIEU to the year 2016 and stand at the cusp of 2017, it is time to look back at the arduous but rewarding journey of the Indian civil aviation industry during the last 12 months, a period that has seen profound change, consolidation and transition. The Indian civil aviation industry has been on a reasonably high growth trajectory during the year gone by and assessment by professional agencies are that India has the potential to become the third-largest aviation market in the world by 2020 and even the largest by 2030. While these projections may appear somewhat overpitched and unrealistic to a conservative audience, the Indian civil aviation industry is optimistic about its future prospects and continues to relentlessly forge ahead. What is reassuring for all stakeholders in the industry is that they have the required support from the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. Besides, the government has taken a number of steps during the year such as permitting foreign direct investment up to 100 per cent by non-airline entities into the Indian airline industry and promulgation of the new integrated National Civil Aviation Policy that is structured to address a wide range of issues related to the Indian civil aviation industry.
The major thrust of the National Civil Aviation Policy is to provide the much needed impetus to boost regional aviation. This will necessitate large-scale development of aviation infrastructure especially in remote areas not currently linked by aerial connectivity. The government has plans to build a number of new airports over the next three years out of which at least ten would be operational by 2017. Also, the Airports Authority of India has plans to revive and operationalise around 50 airports across the country over the next ten years to improve regional and remote air connectivity.
In the budget for the financial year 2016-17, the government introduced various proposals for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) including exemption of customs and excise duty on tool kits used in MRO services. The government has also done away with the rule laying down a limit of one year for utilisation of duty-free parts apart from allowing import of unserviceable parts by MROs for exchange. As per revised norms, foreign aircraft brought into India for availing MRO services would now be permitted to stay in the country for a period up to six months or as extended by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Such foreign aircraft henceforth would also be permitted to carry passengers in the flights at the beginning and end of its period of stay in India.
For the Indian civil aviation industry to prosper and grow at the rate projected, it would be necessary for all the stakeholders of the industry to maintain constant interaction and dialogue with the agencies of the government responsible for policy formulation and implementation. For the nation to rise to the top echelons of the global aviation market, it will be necessary to formulate the right and progressive policies, maintain stringent quality standards and elevate interests of customers to the highest priority.
This issue of SP’s AirBuz has a collation of articles published in the previous issues in 2016 focusing on the major aspects of the Indian civil aviation industry. Welcome aboard and we look forward to a rewarding year ahead!
We wish all our readers a Very Happy New Year!!
B.K. Pandey Editor