Controls on aircraft acquisitions scrapped

The government has done away with the control over acquisition of aircraft by scheduled and non-scheduled operators, private operators and flying training institutes, minister of civil aviation Ajit Singh said today.

Henceforth, airline operators need not obtain permission from the civil aviation ministry for induction of aircraft.

Accordingly, the ministry has abolished the 'aircraft acquisition committee' (AAC) as it is no longer relevant, Ajith Singh said, adding that the concerned divisions of the ministry will now handle matters relating to initial 'no objection certificate' and in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft by scheduled operators.

However, they will have to obtain an initial 'no objection certificate' from the civil aviation ministry for operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, including regional air transport services and in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft by scheduled operators, as per Rules 134 and 134A of the Aircraft Rules and the RBI guidelines to facilitate acquisition of aircraft.

At present, the civil aviation ministry's approval is required for issuing initial 'no objection certificate' in cases of scheduled airlines, non-scheduled airlines, flying institutes and private aircraft.

Intending acquirers will also require the civil aviation ministry's approval for acquisition of aircraft both for airline purpose and for private use as also for replacement of aircraft. 

Once the policy is implemented, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the civil aviation regulator, will deal with all such cases for completion of necessary formalities.

This decision is another major step towards liberalisation in the civil aviation sector, which is in line with the approval for 49 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in airlines.

Besides, the decision will help remove duplication and reduce delays in seeking approval by doing away with the cumbersome procedures, which airlines have to follow before acquisition of aircraft.

The decision will also help airlines plan better for future induction of aircraft and also maintain timeliness of acquisition, the minister added.

Permissions accorded for aircraft acquisition from December 2011 to March 2013
Total approvals V/s applications received
Airline
Proposals (No of aircraft)
Approvals (No of aircraft)
Blue Dart
1
1
LEPL Projects
4
4
SpiceJet
15
15
Jet Airways
33
33
JetLite
02
02
Go Airlines
04
04
IndiGo
35
35
Freedom
02
02
Quikjet Cargo
01
01
Total
97
97
Non-scheduled airline
37
36
Flying training institute
08
08
Private Use :
05
05
(One proposal for acquisition of aircraft by a non-scheduled airline has been deffered at the AAC level, to meet with the existing procedure)

Source: Ministry of Civil Aviation