Home » Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, a step towards aviation safety

Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, a step towards aviation safety

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi, Sept 18:

The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020, passed by Rajya Sabha on Tuesday seeks to regulate the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircraft, and licensing of aerodromes, besides keeping control over lapses and violation of airline rules and regulations.
The Bill which seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934, was passed by Lok Sabha on March 17, 2020. It provides for statutory backing to the DGCA, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies. It also provides for imposition of a penalty of up to Rs 1 crore for lapses and violation of airline rules and regulations.
As per the provisions on the Bill, a violation can be punished with up to two years in jail or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both. Carrying arms, ammunition, and explosives or other banned goods on board, and illegal construction around airports will attract fines up to Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
India is the third largest market globally after the United States and China, and is growing rapidly in the aviation sector. At present, there are around 661 aircraft in the sky and the next five years, there will be 1,200. The airports in the country had handled nearly 300,000 passengers a day before the pandemic and the numbers are steadily inching towards the half-way mark. By 2024, nearly 100 new airports will be added to the existing number, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri told the house.
During discussion on the Bill, several MPs appreciated the role of Air India in bringing back Indians stranded abroad during the nationwide lockdown and expressed concerns over the Union government’s bid to sell the public carrier.
Congress’ KC Venugopal raised the issue of privatisation of airports and alleged that several norms were violated in giving airports to a single private entity, the Adani Group. He said there is a shortage of air traffic controllers, raising the issue of near-misses. However later  Puri asserted that the vacancies have nearly been filled and the recruitment process was  delayed due to the pandemic.
Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai raised the issue of air safety and demanded that government initiates steps to ensure the passengers’ safety. He also expressed opinion that Air India was a  national pride and as such it should not be privatised.
The minister said privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports, that together account for 33% of the air traffic, has resulted in the airports authority receiving about Rs 29,000 crore, which is now being used for the development of other airports.
On the issue of privatisation of Air India, Puri said the carrier is saddled with heavy losses. “…If we could help it, we would keep it with us, but with a Rs 60,000 crore debt, the choice is not between privatisation and non-privatisation. Some of my colleagues must realise that the choice is between privatisation and closing down. We are confident that the airline, in running condition, doing extremely well, will be given to its new owner in order for Air India and its flag to be kept flying,” Puri said.
In the meanwhile the government has extended the deadline for placing bids for Air India till October 30 as the Covid-19 fallout has disrupted economic activity globally. Besides the  date for intimation to qualified interested bidders (QIB) has been extended  till November 20, by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
The process of 100 per cent stake sale in the national carrier was initiated on January 27. Then it was extended till March 17, till April 30,  till June 30, and again till August 31.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


©2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Hosted by eManipur!

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.