Biz aircraft operators seek better deal
On the sidelines of the 2nd edition of BizAVIndia conference, BAOA’s annual event, Jayant Nadkarni said from a negative growth of one per cent in the last fiscal, the sector was now in the ‘0 to 2’ per cent growth bracket.
“We were completely ignored in the draft civil aviation which was released a while ago. But we established bridges, we are confident that we will get a better deal,” said Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) President, Jayant Nadkarni.
On the sidelines of the 2nd edition of BizAVIndia conference, BAOA’s annual event, he said from a negative growth of one per cent in the last fiscal, the sector was now in the ‘0 to 2’ per cent growth bracket. “It will be slow, but we expect the civil aviation policy to be announced soon, to take our concerns into consideration and take steps that will propel growth,” he said, on the eve of the Aviation Show that begins here on Wednesday.
As it celebrates its 5th birthday, the 87 member-strong BAOA that was incorporated on March 31, 2011 with a total of 11 Founding Members was definitely on course to being recognised as a contributor to growth, he said.
It comprises operators who have a 600-strong fleet of different aircraft including 140 business jets (4, 8, 10 and 12-seaters), about 200 to 250 helicopters that could carry between two and 8 passengers and the turbo props that mostly came with a two or 4-seater option. All these are the ones that are used by VVIPs for different purposes, including high-profile politicians and industrialists.
“With its stance, the Government has certainly communicated that we are not a priority right now. But that will change - in three months or even take three years, but we expect change with the civil aviation policy,” he explained.
A major concern is relaxation of existing rules and rolling back of customs duty, Mr. Nadkarni said in his welcome address later, at the inaugural. “The Union Budget had nothing for us at all,” he pointed out.
Director-General of International Business Aviation Council, Kurt Edwards, outlined the organisation’s activities, working on safety with 730 operators, globally. “Safety compliance implementation in airlines is a key task for us. We also brought out a joint guidance document on fatigue management recently, including a webinar on addressing fatigue risk with bio-mathematical tools”, he said. CMD of the Saraya Group, Capt. Satyajit Singh Majithia, a commercial pilot with 6,000 hours of flying to his credit said the time had come for Governments to realize that small aircraft and aviation were just business tools and not toys of the super-rich. “We are public transporters as much as scheduled commercial airlines and the civil aviation policy and rules and regulations should be the same for both. We need a level-playing field,” he summed up.