Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Bill 2021 will prove to be a catalyst in the development of small airports and help enhance air connectivity in far-flung areas.
The bill allows tariff determination of a ‘group of airports’ by way of amending the definition of ‘major airport.’ The bill amends the provisions of the law in relation to tariffs for single airports. The intention of the government is to develop not only the high traffic volume & profitable airports but also the low traffic volume of non-profitable airports. The revenue earned by AAI from these airports will be utilized for the development of airports in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. It would help encourage the development of smaller airports. This approach would help in the development of more airports through the PPP route thus, expanding the air connectivity to relatively remote and far-flung areas.
Some measures undertaken for improvement in civil aviation sector in the country:
- The policy on Digi Yatra has been released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2018. This initiative aims to provide a contactless, seamless and paperless handling of passengers at airports from the entry gate of the terminal to the boarding point. Work has been awarded for implementation of Biometric Boarding System (BBS) by using facial recognition technology at six airports namely – Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Varanasi and Vijayawada. The project is at the trial stage. Upon successful completion, the same will be implemented across other airports in the country in a phased manner.;
- Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to invest around Rs. 25,000 crores in next 4-5 years for expansion/ development of existing and new terminals, using modern technology.
- Modernisation of air navigation infrastructure has been taken up.
- Route rationalization in the Indian airspace is being carried out in coordination with Indian Air Force, using modern air traffic flow management techniques to develop shorter flight routes and lower fuel consumption by airlines.
- Greater use of digital technology is being encouraged at air cargo terminals to enhance efficiency and to reduce dwell times.
- E-Governance is being enabled at Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) for most of their stakeholder interactions and internal processes.;;
- Online ‘examination on demand’ is being planned by DGCA for flying cadets to enhance the number of licenced pilots in the country.
Categories: POINT IAS