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India and US to Sign Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement Dr. Nasim Zaidi Launches "India Aviation-2012"

New Delhi
(Press Information Bureau)

Dr. Nasim Zaidi, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation launched “India Aviation-2012”, the 3rd international Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation here today. The event will be held at Begumpet Airport from 14-18th March, 2012. Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Zaidi said that it would be necessary to redefine the parameters of regulation in order to assure travelers the guarantee of safety. The ministry is considering restructuring the DGCA into a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In order to prevent repetitive accidents, an Independent Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Committee has been set up within oversight of Ministry of Civil Aviation to coordinate and oversee the investigation into accidents and also effective follow up of compliance of recommendations. Steps are under way to set up a full-fledged Independent Accident Investigation Board. He announced that a land mark Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement has been approved by the Cabinet and will be signed with USA, during the visit of Ms. Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State. The proposed agreement will open up huge market for export of aeronautical products manufactured in the country in USA and other regions of the world. This will open up huge potential for investment.

Emphasizing the passengers’ facilities and consumer protection, he said that the rights of the passengers need to be respected and protected at all times. The significant steps for consumer protection has been taken through CARs on disability related rights, refunds, cancellations, delays, over-bookings and denied boardings. He suggested that Airlines and Airports should compete with each other in offering to passengers better of facilities, services and protection of their rights. He announced that a task force is working in Ministry to prepare an outline to set up an Ombudsman institution in civil aviation sector. Ministry of Civil Aviation has also set up an Innovation Council to suggest primarily IT lead innovations to improve products, services and customer related matters by airlines, airports and air traffic management service providers.

Dr. Zaidi also announced that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is also proposing to declare 18th February every year as Civil Aviation Day.

On connectivity, he said that the Ministry is reviewing policy of route dispersal guidelines to enhance connectivity in inaccessible areas and islands of the country. With a view to increase regional connectivity, regulatory framework pertaining to schedule and regional operators is also currently being reviewed to ensure that regional connectivity gets boost with the support of Airports Authority of India and private sector participating in the development of Tier II and Tier III cities. A task force is also working to examine the ways and means required to cut transaction time, cost and various other measures to simplify procedures to improve business environment with regulatory authorities.

Highlighting the growth of Civil Aviation Sector that the Secretary said that the sector has registered phenomenal growth in India in past decade. Passenger traffic has grown at 18% year on year basis and the year 2010 closed at 90 million passengers both domestic and international. India is the fastest growing aviation market and expected to be within 4-5 big aviation markets by 2020 and 3rd in terms of domestic market after US and China. India will cross 450 million mark of domestic passengers by 2020. During the last two decades from a fleet of only about 100, the scheduled operators today have 435 aircrafts connecting the nation and the world. It is projected that the center of gravity in the aviation industry will be shifting to the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years. Considering the geographic position of India, it has the potential to become an aviation hub at the cross roads between Europe/ Middle East and Asia Pacific. He informed that T-3 Terminal at Delhi International Airport is already evolving into a hub. About 11000 passengers are transiting from various spokes to different destinations in the world by utilizing spoke and hub system. Air India is already contributing to this growth including Jet Airways. It is also proposed to develop Mumbai and Chennai as hubs in next 2 years.

The “India Aviation-2012”, the 3rd international Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation is being organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation jointly with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). It will witness participation of over 250 exhibitors comprising of Aircraft Manufacturers, Aircraft Machinery & Equipment Companies, Aircraft Interiors, Airlines, Airlines Services & Air Cargo, Skill Development, Airport and Infrastructure, MROs. The exhibition will be spread over as area of 20,000 square meters. UK is the partner country for the 2012 event with France as Focus country and USA as the Guest Country. The Host State is Andhra Pradesh and the Overseas Associate for the show is Famborough International Ltd.

Apart from the Exhibition, India Aviation-2012 will have a conference on policy issues and business aspects of the civil aviation sector, a CEOs Forum representing chief executives of leading aviation companies, Chalets, Static Display, Demonstration Flights and Media Conferences.