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Saturday, 20 July, 2019, 15 : 04 PM [IST]

There would be no compromise on aviation safety and security: Hardeep S Puri

Minister of State with Independent Charge of Civil Aviation, Hardeep S Puri said that instructions have been given to regulator to adopt strict measures of compliance on safety of aircrafts in the light of recent incidents reported from different parts of the country. He said that an image of being soft on safety aspects and “bhai chara” is not good for a sector which is expanding at a fast pace and therefore will not be tolerated. The Minister was speaking at the Civil Aviation and Cargo conference and Awards organised by ASSOCHAM in Delhi. 

Giving a piece of his mind to the industry on matters related to safety and compliance, Puri said that the “Culture of impunity” that prevailed in the industry needed change and an eco-system built on “rule of law” can only make the sector sustainable.

The Minister wondered how airlines alone losing money when other components of  the industry like airplane manufacturers, airports, tourism industry are all making money. Pricing is an important aspect of airline operation and selling seats at less than fair value and predatory pricing by airlines for market domination has to be discouraged. However, the Minister has taken position against any kind of ‘capping’ of rates, saying it would “distort the system”.

 Puri said that the Budget presented by the Finance Minister has all the right steps required for the sector including FDIs, MROs, Licencing, etc. When 1000 more aircrafts are expected to join the domestic market in the next decade, India should have its own maintenance and repair infrastructure rather than sending aircrafts to other countries, he observed.

 He also favoured reduction on taxes on ATF to make the industry sustainable in the long run.  

He said that the Ministry is currently framing the 100-day agenda for the sector as well the 5-year vision document and both will be announced soon.

When asked about the Air India divestment, the Minister said that an 'alternate mechanism' has been set up to look into Air India issue that will meet once the Parliament session gets over.

 Present on the occasion were Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet Limited, Ashish Saraf, Head – Airbus Helicopters, India & South Asia, Ahmed Albana, Ambassador of the UAE to India, K Narayana Rao, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Civil Aviation, Manish Chheda, MD, Auctus Advisors, Ankur Bhatia, Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Civil Aviation.
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