Aviation regulator DGCA has started collating feedback from the general public as well as affected parties on providing an air operator permit (AOP) to the Indian subsidiary of Malaysian no-frills airline AirAsia, sources said.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had invited objections/suggestions on the issue on January 20, with a 20-day submission window.
“We have received a number of suggestions and objections, which are being collated now. We will consider their application (for AOP) once this exercise is completed,” DGCA sources said.
The sources, though, did not give any specific time line for the grant of a flying license to the new airline, saying only that “it is expected shortly.”
This is the first time the DGCA has invoked the rule seeking objections from the public before granting a flying license.
AirAsia India, a joint venture of AirAsia, Tata Sons and Telestra Trade Place, had planned to commence domestic operations by January, and now expects to start from April.
In April last year, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approved the USD 30 million deal. It received a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Civil Aviation Ministry last year.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha that the government received seven proposals last year for initial no-objection certificates to start scheduled flight operations, including from AirAsia India and Tata-SIA Airlines Ltd.
Of these, AirAsia India was granted an initial NOC. Besides, in-principle approval for the import of 10 Airbus A-320-200 aircraft was given to this company in December.
Apart from Tata-SIA and AirAsia India, other firms that applied for an NOC are Airone Aviation Services, Zexus Air Services, Freedom Aviation, Air Carnival and Turbo Megha Airways, Venugopal said.