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Govt unveils civil aviation policy, scraps 5/20 norm


New Delhi : In a major reform of the aviation sector, government today scrapped the 5/20 overseas flying norm for domestic carriers in its new civil aviation policy while capping fares at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights and imposing a “small levy” on passengers towards regional connectivity fund.

The new policy which got approval from the Union Cabinet was aimed at ease of doing business for airline operators, and “affordable, convenient and cheaper” travel for fliers at large, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told the media.

As part of the policy, the ministry will come out with initiatives to develop new airports, separate regulations for helicopters and measures to boost skill development in the aviation sector.

Airlines will also get tax incentives for operating on unserved routes under the regional connectivity scheme.

The government has scrapped the decade-long controversial 5/20 norm and now any domestic airline can fly overseas provided they deploy 20 planes or 20 per cent of their total capacity for domestic operations.

There has been a high decibel debate over the continuance of 5/20 norm–whereby only local airlines having at least five years of operational experience and a fleet of minimum 20 aircraft are allowed to fly overseas.

About the decision to scrap the rule, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “A questionable legacy has been thrown into the dustbin.”

Amid concerns over an earlier proposal to auction additional bilateral rights, the government has also decided that a final call on additional rights would be taken by a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.

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