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New civil aviation policy to be finalised shortly: Minister

Government is likely to finalise the new civil aviation policy shortly, Minister of State for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma said on Thursday.

“We are waiting for certain inputs from stakeholders …. I think within a very short time, could be in a week’s time, it should be finalised,” Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event here.

Government had in November last year announced the new Draft Civil Aviation policy and circulated it to all stakeholders for consultations before putting it in place.

Responding to a question on the proposed norms for domestic carriers for international operations, the Minister said the decision on removal of 5/20 rule would not depend on individual carriers’ interests.

Under the 5/20 rule, Indian carriers have to complete five years of domestic operations and have a fleet of 20 aircraft before they are allowed to fly international.

“Government never said 5/20 rule will be removed,” he said, adding that the issue?was?still?being discussed and nothing has been finalised as yet.

To a question on the ongoing legal tussle between the budget carrier SpiceJet and its lessors, Sharma said that Government will not interfere in the issue.

On the appointment of a new chairman for the national carrier Air India, the Minister said that he was not averse to hiring a private industry expert to head the state run airline “if the rules permit so”.

Sharma also said that the Government at this stage was not in favour of privatisation of Air India.

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