Aviation ministry to discuss industry challenges with operators, The Economic Times 12/7/14
NEW DELHI: Civil Aviation Ministry has convened a meeting of business aircraft and chopper operators next week to discuss issues being faced by the industry, particularly the airport and ground handling charges, sources said.
The meeting, which is likely to be chaired by the civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey, would have representatives from the Business Aircraft Operators' Association (BAOA) and Rotary Wing Society of India (RSWI), they said
Chairpersons of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) have also been invited to the meeting, sources said.
"The government is quite keen to address the issues confronting the general aviation and helicopter segment. The meeting called on July 14 aims at looking at things such as airport and other charges, which are quite high and make the business unviable," sources said.
According to government data, the domestic helicopter industry has seen a decline in growth in the recent years.
As per Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) records using as a yardstick the number of helicopters registered in the country, the industry was showing a slow growth, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had informed Parliament in March.
As against a total of 35 helicopters registered in 2010, the number came down to 20 in 2011 and 16 in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, a total of 23 helicopters were registered, 12 of them last year.
Business Aircraft Operators' Association (BAOA) has already mandated Dubai-based Martin Consulting to conduct a comprehensive study of the business and general aviation segments including the growth potential, infrastructure requirements and challenges.
The segment leaders are of the view that general aviation suffers a major perception problem leading to apathy that has resulted in non-existence of a separate policy framework, punitive taxations and lack of infrastructural support.
The study would map the real dynamics of the segment, identify challenges that are affecting its growth while bringing out a list of immediate imperatives and long-term recommendations in order to give a fillip.