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Air transport is a critical element of a nation’s infrastructure, enabling global business and tourism. The new government is likely to accord high priority to this sector and is expected to make significant corrections in policies, procedures, infrastructure, taxation structure and skill development.
The new Government should develop a transparent policy for enhancing bilateral seat quotas. Quotas shall be linked to objective criteria like investments, incremental traffic, employment and strategic interests of India.
The next phase of growth of Indian aviation will be driven by no-frills airports in India’s interiors. The new Government should focus on enhancing regional connectivity to have an equitable development of air connectivity across the country.
The new Government should endeavor to dispel the notion of aviation being a ‘luxury’ product and promote it as a mode of rapid transportation that enhances mobility, tourism, investments and employment.
Other key initiatives could be: abolition of the discriminatory 5/20 rule, privatization of Air India , rationalization of taxes for MRO and ATF, fast-tracking of stalled PPP airport projects, creation of an independent ATC organization and flexible use of defense airspace.