A statement by India’s ministry of civil aviation on Thursday has eased norms for import of all aircraft into the country. The government’s Aircraft Acquisition Committee (AAC)–which was set up some five months ago, headed by the minister of civil aviation and responsible for clearance of every aircraft imported into the country–has also been abolished, “as it is no [longer] relevant,” said the statement.
The now-ditched policy required civil aviation minister Ajit Singh to approve each aircraft import request personally, leading to serious delays for operators. In January, approximately 50 requests for aircraft purchases were on hold, awaiting approval by the minister.
“An initial no objection certificate (NOC) and in-principle approval for acquisition of aircraft will still be required from the [ministry of civil aviation], as this is a requirement under Rules 134 and 134A…to facilitate acquisition of aircraft,” according to the statement. The approval, however, will now rest with “the concerned division of the ministry,” not Singh directly.
India’s Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA) welcomes the move, saying it is pleased that the ministry had finally considered the needs of the business aviation industry when it comes to aircraft importation. “It’s a right step as we are moving toward aligning ourselves with global standards. We hope [the procedures] put in place will continue in future,” BAOA president Rohit Kapur told AIN.