28 December, Hyderabad
The long-awaited new aviation policy will be announced early next year, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Monday.
He said the policy was in final stage of preparation and once it is ready, it will be put up before the cabinet.
Speaking to reporters after launching e-boarding facility at Hyderabad airport, he noted that more than three lakh suggestions to the draft aviation policy were received and the ministry is in the process of evaluating the suggestions and considering them while fine tuning the draft.
On the 5/20 norm, which stipulates a minimum five years of operations and a fleet of 20 aircraft for overseas flying rights, he said he always opposed it.
“I have always been opposed to this kind of thinking. I will take up this with cabinet so that we can do away with it at the earliest,” he said.
On development of new airports, Raju said that though aviation is central subject, the land for the airports have to be allotted by the states. He, however, made it clear that new airports would be taken up only if they were found feasible.
Noting that Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports implemented e-boarding facility on pilot basis, he said it should be introduced at all airports in a phased manner to provide greater convenience to the passengers.
After successful implementation of the pilot, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad became the first airport in India to go live on e-boarding for all domestic passengers.
Built in-house by GMR Hyderabad Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), the facility eliminates the need to manual stamping of boarding cards even for physical boarding cards issued by CUSS (Common Use Self Service) machines or the check-in counters. Further, it covers end-to-end all the key passenger processes at the airport, starting from entry to terminal and including check-in, security check, boarding gate and finally the boarding bridge check before entering the aircraft.
Now a domestic passenger flying from the airport will need only a mobile e-boarding card and his Aadhaar card number to gain entry into the airport.
“We have used our internal capabilities to commence full-fledged end-to-end E-boarding in shortest possible time. Our in-house built E-boarding solution is in line with the ‘Digital India’ programme,” said GHIAL CEO S.G.K. Kishore.