- The listing of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Pawan Hans on stock exchanges will improve transparency and efficiency, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today.
- The state-run AAI manages 125 airports across the country. Among them are 11 international and 81 domestic airports. AAI is also a stake holder in some of the country's premium airports located in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
- Pawan Hans, one of Asia's largest helicopter companies, has a fleet of 47 helicopters. The government owns 51 per cent stake in the company, the remaining 49 per cent is owned by another state-run company ONGC.
- Pawan Hans provides helicopter support services to the oil sector for its off-shore exploration operations. It also provides charter services for promotion of tourism.
- Both AAI and Pawan Hans are profitable companies. During 2013-14, AAI reported a profit of Rs 796 crore. Pawan Hans reported a net profit of Rs 11.70 crore during 2012-13 fiscal year.
- Mr Raju said it is essential to ensure that Air India achieves its full potential. To achieve this, the government had decided to form an expert committee, which will decide on privatisation or other solutions, the minister said. For 2013-13 fiscal year, Air India reported a net loss of Rs 5,389 crore.
- The government will also review the 5/20 guideline. The archaic rule makes it mandatory for a carrier to have 5 years of domestic flying experience and 20 aircraft to become eligible to fly on international routes.
- Mr Raju said he will intensify efforts to get states to reduce taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF), which currently ranges between 4-35 per cent. Jet fuel constitutes over 40 per cent of an airline's operating costs.
- The draft policy entails measures to enhance regional air connectivity, develop six major metro airports as international hubs, create more airports through PPP mode (public-private partnership) and improve passenger facilitation.
- The civil aviation policy is expected to come into force early next year after consultations are done and an approval from the Union Cabinet is in place.
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