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11 May, 2013

Government to Promote Development of Aviation Hubs in India


Ministry of Civil Aviation 10-May, 2013 – The Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Ajit Singh informed that the Government has approved the proposal of Ministry of Civil Aviation to constitute an Inter-Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Civil Aviation for suggesting various measures to overcome the bottlenecks in the development of aviation hubs at various airports In India.

The six metros with state-of-the-art airports that have been modernized and expanded include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. The following bottlenecks have been identified and need rectification.

• Need to coordinate the development of tourism and promotion of brand “India” in a concerted manner;

• Visa norms need to be liberalized and `visa on arrival’ needs to be extended to as many countries as possible;

• Present instructions issued by Government of India impose conditions on Indian passport holders as well as the foreign nationals with regard to carrying / spending Indian currency;

• Exchange of their left over Indian currency into foreign currency in the security hold area respectively which acts as an impediment in development of hubs;

• ATF price and taxation also pose a road block for development of aviation hubs;

• Service charge on air travel needs to be withdrawn in order to make air travel more attractive to passengers and thus improve prospects for the airline industry;

• Rules and legislations dealing with trans-shipment cargo also needs to be streamlined to facilitate growth in trans shipment cargo;

• Encourage MRO business;

• Issues regarding confluence flights relating to immigration, security check.

In the last decade, India has witnessed a traffic growth rate of about 15 to 18%, which is likely to continue in future also. Development of these airports as aviation hubs would boost the growth of airlines, airports and would increase the flow of tourists to India. After the inter ministerial group submits its recommendations, the Government expects to implement them within the shortest possible time, after seeking approval at an appropriate level.