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No more outsourced manpower by airlines for ground handling services

Outsourced manpower used by Airlines for ground handling services at has been banned from now onwards. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has come up with a new regulation for ground handling services which clearly stated that hiring of employees through contractor or manpower supplier for ground handling services would not be permitted.Also the ministry has stated that all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers, would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves. Further as per new policy, the ministry has also barred foreign airlines from carrying out “self-handling” at any domestic airport.As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Ground Handling Services) Regulations, 2017, all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves. Generally, civil enclaves are airports belonging to the armed forces where civilian aircraft operations are allowed. Ground handling services include those pertaining to servicing and handling of aircraft as well as loading and unloading. The regulations have been notified a few days ago.Foreign airlines may also undertake self-handling in respect of passenger and baggage handling activities excluding security functions at the airport terminals restricted to the passenger check-in at pre security hold area, at all the airports except Civil Enclaves. As per Regulations, all ground handling services shall be provided only through the regular employees and hiring of employees through handling contractor or manpower supplier shall not be permitted.”At all airports, in order to overcome space and time constraints, the airport operator only shall provide adequate number of Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE), Common User Self Service (CUSS), Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) and Self Bag Drop (SBD),” it noted.The regulations said that airports having annual passenger throughput of 1.5 million passengers per annum or above, the airport operator shall provide adequate number of Baggage Reconciliation System: Where the annual passenger throughput is less than 1.5 million passengers per annum, the airport operator may decide the provisions relating to Baggage Reconciliation System. All agencies concerned shall ensure the use of state-of-art equipment and best practices in line with the International Air Transport Association Airport Handling Manual,” the regulation said.All airport operators shall appoint the requisite number of ground handling agencies within a period of 120 days from the date of publication of these regulations.In the earlier ground handling policy, airlines were allowed to choose from within three agencies to get the services. Under this, the airport operators have been advised to have maximum number of three ground handling companies including Air India’s subsidiary/joint venture at all major airports as defined in AERA Act 2008.

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Thiruvananthpuram-bound IndiGo plane aborts take off due to fuel leak

"Flight crew were alerted by on board computers about 'Fuel Right Wing Tank Overflow'. Flight crew carried out their required procedure as per Airbus checklist and also the overflow was confirmed by the ground staff," IndiGo said in a statement As a precaution engines were shut down and aircraft was towed back to bay, it said. The airline said that it is investigating the matter and that it has also informed safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation about the incident. ”

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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Thiruvananthpuram-bound IndiGo plane aborts take off due to fuel leak Indigo
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Wednesday 27 December 2017 19:55 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>A Thiruvananthpuram-bound IndiGo plane with 173 passengers on board experienced a fuel leak, forcing it to abort take off and return to the parking bay at the Indira Gandhi International airport here.Sources said there was fuel spillage from the right wing of the aircraft at 4.35 PM yesterday when it was taxiing for take off. A fire engine was pressed into service and a substitute plane was arranged and the flight took off two hours later at 6.15 PM and landed at Thiruvananthpuram at 9.26 PM. According to airport sources, the airline reported only a ‘wing tank overflow’ at first and later acknowledged oil spillage.”Flight crew were alerted by on board computers about ‘Fuel Right Wing Tank Overflow’. Flight crew carried out their required procedure as per Airbus checklist and also the overflow was confirmed by the ground staff,” IndiGo said in a statement As a precaution engines were shut down and aircraft was towed back to bay, it said. The airline said that it is investigating the matter and that it has also informed safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation about the incident.

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Intel busts D-Company plot to assassinate Chota Rajan inside Tihar Jail
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Israeli man arrested for possessing satellite phone at Mumbai airport

A 23-year-old Israel national was arrested for allegedly possessing a satellite phone, which is banned in India, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here, a police official said on Thursday.Based on a complaint by the officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Sahar police arrested Tsamret Ido, an ex-Army man from Israel, on Tuesday, she said.After Ido landed at the Mumbai airport, the CISF, during security check, found a satellite phone in his luggage following which he was apprehended and later arrested, the official said.Ido, who was in India on a tourist visa, was scheduled to go Goa from here through a connecting flight.’An offence was registered against him at the Sahar police station under relevant sections of the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, she said.The man was on Wednesday produced before a local court which granted him bail on a surety of Rs 25,000.According to sources, Ido told the police he was not aware that satellite phones are banned in India.Notably, the handlers of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had apparently used these phones during the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.The Bureau of Civil Aviation also issued a circular in 2012 to all airports in the country to detain passengers carrying satellite phones, the police said.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Seaplanes for aam janta haven’t moved past MoU stage as yet

Amdavadis were treated to the sight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking off in a seaplane from Sabarmati riverfront to Dharoi Dam to offer prayers at Ambaji temple on Tuesday, the last day of campaigning before the second phase. This has given Amdavadis hope of travelling by a seaplane themselves in the near future, but little do they know that though a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding this connectivity was signed at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit this year, nothing concrete has happened after that.DNA had reported in January that to boost aviation, the government had planned seaplane connectivity — wherever there is a water body — across Gujarat.An MoU was signed between Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Ltd (GUJSAIL) and Supreme Airlines to promote this new mode of transport. Speaking to DNA, Captain Akash Agarwal, vice-president, Supreme Airlines, had said, “We will start operations by April this year from the Sabarmati riverfront, and thereafter connect various other destinations. Aviation enthusiasts can enjoy joy rides or use it to commute to tourist spots surrounded by water. We will invest Rs 40 crore. As of now, we operate in Rajasthan.”However, since there has been no talks this since then. Sources in aviation sector say the tendering process for seaplane connectivity is yet to be undertaken. “The MoU was signed with Supreme Airlines, which presently operates between Ahmedabad and Jodhpur,” says a source. “Perhaps they are looking for land and will begin the tendering process after that. As of now, nothing has happened on that front.”Speaking about PM’s seaplane, highly-placed sources said, “The entire arrangement was made by the Centre in partnership with SpiceJet. The central government intends to implement seaplane connectivity across the country. A demonstration was conducted recently in Mumbai and today (on Tuesday), there was another demonstration.””To implement amphibian planes,” informed another source, “firstly, a jetty is required, and then the necessary infrastructure. Once these are in place, various permissions will have to be sought.”TWITTER JIBEFormer J&K CM Omar Abdullah questioned the PM’s protocol on Twitter. “How is it that the security guidelines were relaxed for this flight? No Z+ protectee is allowed to fly in a single engine aircraft.”

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Maharashtra government pushes take-off of 11 new airports

The state government has fast-tracked the development of Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) and 10 other airports. The State has set up an 11-member Project Monitoring & Implementation Committee (PMIC), headed by Chief Secretary Sumit Malik, for early clearance of the Request For Proposal (RFP), Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the bidding process and awarding the contract. PMIC’s members include joint secretary of the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and chairman of the Airports Authority of India.Recently, a similar PMIC, chaired by the Chief Secretary, approved the financial bid submitted by GVK-led Mumbai International Airport’s (MIAL) to construct the Navi Mumbai International Airport.MIHAN is an airport project for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, hometown of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari. Ten other airports are being developed at Kolhapur, Shirdi, Amravati, Gondia, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nanded, Solapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.They are all under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), part of the ambitious National Civil Aviation Policy, 2010.MIHAN aims to exploit Nagpur’s central location and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The project is made up of two parts – an international airport that will act as a cargo hub and a Special Economic Zone with a residential zone.The project cost is envisaged at Rs 2,581 crore, based on 2002 rates and it is expected to attract investment of over Rs 20,000 crore.An officer from the state Civil Aviation department told DNA, “The PMIC will have a major role in providing timely clearances for RFP, Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the development of MIHAN and 10 other airports. After PMIC’s approval, the State cabinet will give the final nod.”As reported by DNA, the state government has appointed the Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC) as co-ordinator and facilitator for 28 existing airports, and the development of MIHAN and 10 other airports under RCS. The state government has already agreed to provide a slew of sops, including tax-cut on air fuel for 10 years, free-of-cost land, and electricity and water at concessional rates.

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Minor actor molestation: NCW issues notice to Air Vistara; DCW seeks full report of incident

The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Sunday condemned the alleged on board harassment of and took suo moto cognisance of the matter.Speaking to ANI, the acting chairperson of NCW, Rekha Sharma, said, “Air Vistara hasn’t sensitised their crew to take action against men torturing women on flight. I am taking suo moto cognisance of this and giving a notice to Air Vistara.””I would like to ask Air Vistara if they have zero tolerance towards such behaviour, why they have not named this person till now. Naming them is very important. We would like to tell the victim that we are there to help her out in any way we can,” she added.She also said, “I just saw the video on Instagram and my heart goes out to her. I am really horrified the way this incident happened and after that the crew didn’t help this girl. That was very shocking.”Swati Maliwal, the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), also condemned the incident.”The flight was from Delhi to Mumbai, this is subjected to our jurisdiction. We have even issued a notice to Air Vistara and asked for details of that man,” said Maliwal.The DCW had also written to Air Vistaara seeking details of the incident. The women commission had asked the flight authorities to submit the following information by December 16:a. Were the crew members of Vistaara aware of the molestation incident with the minor actor during her flight? If yes, please inform the action taken by them in the matter along with details of the help and support provided to the girl.b. List of authorities to whom the matter was reported by Vistaara Airlines along with date and time of reporting.c. Whether CCTVs were installed in the flight? If yes, please provide the footage of the entire flight journey.d. Details of SOPs followed by Vistaara airlines for dealing with matters of sexual harassment on flight.e. Whether any case of molestation has occurred on Vistaara flight in India in the past one year? If yes, please provide details of the same and action taken by Vistaara in the matter.f. Copies of guidelines (if any) issued by Ministry of Aviation, GOI regarding dealing with sexual harassment cases on flight.The incident came to light when the actor shared the ordeal she had to go through en route Mumbai in the flight in an Instagram story.She said she had called out to the cabin crew for help but it was of no use.In the video, she can be seen fighting her tears and saying, “This is not done, I am disturbed. Is this how you’re going to take care of girls?”The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have also sought details from Air Vistara over the incident. Taking note of the incident, the airline have ordered a detailed investigation into the incident.In a statement, the airline also apologised, adding the minor actress started yelling at the accused passenger only during the descent of the flight, due to which the cabin crew couldn’t move because it’s mandatory to have no movement during the final phase of the flight as seat belts are on.

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Parliamentary panel to look into airlines’ treatment of flyers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of a huge row over manhandling of a passenger by IndiGo Airlines last month, a Parliamentary committee will be examining the issue of “behaviour of airline personnel towards passengers” on Monday.The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee of Transport, Tourism and Culture headed by Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien has called the Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, along with representatives of Airports Authority of India, Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, on Monday.The panel has also asked public carrier Air India and private airlines, including Indigo, to appear before it and explain their views on the matter. Representatives from Jet Airways, Spicejet, Go Air, Vistara and Air Asia will also appear. The panel has sought their views on passenger amenities and behaviour of airline personnel towards passengers.The panel is expected to examine the issue comprehensively. The 31-member panel has 21 MPs.An internal inquiry report by IndiGo, after the incident in October, had said it was actually the “whistleblower”, who circulated the video, who was to be blamed for the incident.After the Indigo incident, public carrier Air India had come out with a hilarious photo, saying “we raise our hands only to say Namaste”, taking an apparent dig at the private airline.Even lawmakers have been found to be on the wrong side of the fence a number of times. Last year, there was a huge row when five airlines — Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir — put a ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad after he admitted to having bashed up an elderly AI employee.The issue had led to a huge political controversy. Sena had sided with Gaikwad, who ultimately wrote a letter to Civil Aviation Minister A Gajapati Raju, expressing regret but offering no apology.

‘Why no questions on PM Modi over Rafale deal,’ Rahul Gandhi asks media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter aircraft agreement and asked the media why it did not question him for allegedly changing the “entire deal” to benefit a businessman.”I answer all your questions, whatever you ask me. Why don’t you question Prime Minister Modi on the Rafale deal. Why don’t you question the prime minister who changed the entire Rafale deal to help a businessman?” he asked.He was speaking to reporters after the meeting of the newly formed All India Unorganised Workers Congress (AIUWC).He expressed satisfaction over the formation of AIUWC and said he felt good interacting with them.Earlier this week, the Congress accused the government of compromising national interest and security while promoting “crony capitalism” and causing a loss to the public exchequer.The BJP rubbished the allegation, claiming it was intended to “divert attention” as the party bigwigs faced the prospect of being questioned in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal.The Congress’ communications department head Randeep Surjewala alleged that the government neglected the interests of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale aircraft, refused to transfer technology to it and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence.He also alleged that the aircraft was being purchased at much higher rates than what was decided after the completion of the tender process under the previous UPA government.

Amid slot restraints, civil aviation ministry starts rationalising block time of scheduled flights

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The civil aviation ministry has started the process of rationalising the block time of scheduled flights amid slot constraints at various airports.Block time generally refers to the time taken by a flight to travel from one point to another and is also a key factor for measuring On Time Performance (OTP) of flights.The ministry’s move assumes significance against the backdrop of slot constraints at various airports, especially those in metros, and disputes over OTP claims made by airlines.”The process of block time rationalisation has started. It is a process that will be taken up every time a slot allocation happens or when a schedule has to be approved,” Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said on Tuesday.He noted that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued guidelines, that are free from “ambiguity”, with respect to block time.”Any data fudging can happen when guidelines have ambiguity,” he said, adding that block time should be the same irrespective of the airline.According to Choubey, the ministry has asked the DGCA as well as authorities related to slot allotments and schedule approval to constantly push for harmonisation of airlines’ block time with the real block time.”All busy airports are in focus. Slots may be difficult for an airport or during certain hours. Whenever there is slot allocation issue, then the block time (requirement) will be enforced strictly going forward,” he said.There have been instances where airlines have mentioned block time more than the actual time taken for a particular travel.Technically, block hours refer to the span of time from the switching on of the aircraft’s engines to their switching off. An airline’s OTP as well as facilities and financial compensation to an air passenger in case of delay are determined on the basis of block hours.

Rafale deal: Reliance Defence Limited rebuts Congress allegations of getting favour, threatens legal action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As political controversy kicked in over Congress allegations that industrialist Anil Ambani’s company was favoured by the government in Rafale deal, Reliance Defence Limited has rebutted the allegations as “baseless and unfounded”.It sought to flag what it called “factual inaccuracies” in the statement made by AICC Communication department chief Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday. Regarding the allegation that Ambani, owner of Reliance Defence Limited was present in France with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the later visited in April 2015 announced the deal for purchase of 36 Rafale Fighter Aircrafts, the RDL said, Anil Ambani is a member of Indo French CEO Forum and in the said meeting, more than 20 Indian CEOs were present including Chairman of HAL D Suvrana Raju and othersSurjewala had alleged that on February 16, 2017, Reliance Defence Limited through its subsidiary Reliance Defence and Aerospace Limited inked a joint venture with Dassault Aviation for defence production and that the company’s website R. Infra reflects that they are undertaking offset obligations of 30,000 crore with Dassault Aviation for 36 Rafel aircrafts. The company said that In the official press statement issued by Dassault and Reliance on 03 October 2016, it is clearly mentioned that offfset obligations are to be undertaken by Dassault Reliance Aerospace joint venture company and not by Reliance Defence. “Reliance Group does not have any company by the name of Reliance Defence & Aerospace Ltd. Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd will be only one of the key players in the discharge of offset obligations.The RDL further said that over 500 large, medium and small Indian companies will benefit from the offsets which are nothing but an export obligation for goods and services from India and that offsets referred to are spread over a period of nearly 10 years.Regarding the Congress question as to why did the Prime Minister promote the interests of one industrial group- Reliance Defence Limited, which has led to the company tying up and entering into a joint venture with Dassault Aviation, the RLD said that the joint venture between Reliance Aerostructure Ltd and Dassault Aviation is a bilateral agreement between two private companies and Dassault Aviation selected Reliance Aerostructure Ltd as its joint venture partner. “The Indian Government has no role to play in this,” it said.Replying to the allegation why has the joint venture for the biggest-ever Indian defence deal between Dassault Aviation and Reliance Defence Limited not gone through the proper procedure of approval by the Union Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Security and Foreign Investment Promotion Board, the company said that the government policy issued on June 24, 2016 allows for 49% FDI in the Defence Sector under the automatic route, without any prior approval.“No approvals from the Union Cabinet or CCS were required for the formation of the aforesaid Joint Venture company under the automatic route,” the RDL said. “”From the above it is very obvious that all allegations are unfounded and false. We request the AICC to correct the facts as stated by us. We reserve the right to take appropriate legal action against any party that disseminates these defamatory allegations,” the RDL said.

Ryan case: ‘Haryana minister told us not to seek a CBI probe’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another revelation in the Ryan murder case, victim Pradyuman’s father, Barun Thakur, alleged on Tuesday that Haryana Cabinet Minister Narbir Singh suggested to the family to not demand a CBI probe.The seven-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School was brutally murdered inside the school toilet on September 8, within an hour of his father leaving him there.According to the family, PWD, Forest, and Civil Aviation Minister Narbir Singh visited their house in Gurugram on September 14, a day before CM Manohar Lal Khattar announced the decision on CBI probe. Speaking strongly against a probe by the investigative agency, Singh told the family to not demand it. “He visited our house a day before the CM announced the decision. While talking about the incident, he began to give us reasons why we should not demand a CBI probe. He explained how CBI might not even pick up the case for the coming 1.5 years and how we might end up with the same findings as of the Gurugram Police,” Thakur told DNA.Unwilling to give up, however, Thakur requested the minister to go ahead with the CBI inquiry. “We were not pleased with his suggestion and requested him to take our plea forward,” he said.When contacted, Singh did not respond to DNA queries.The Gurugram Police had arrested a bus conductor in the case. Later, however, the CBI announced that a senior student of the same school was behind the murder, and rejected the police’s claim that the conductor was to blame.

Govt favouring capitalist friends in Rafale deal: Cong

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after BJP sought to ‘taint’ Congress general secretary in-charge for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot over Potash scam, the Congress on Tuesday hit back alleging a ‘huge scam” in the procurement of 36 ‘Rafale Fighter Aircrafts’ from Dassault Aviation of France.Accusing the Modi government of compromising ‘national interests’ and ‘national security’, Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala alleged that Modi government announced the purchase deal of the fighter aircrafts without following defence procurement procedure, and helped a private company in bypassing the interests of a reputed public sector undertaking like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.He also alleged the Modi government of “promoting interests of Prime Minister’s crony capitalist friends”.”A huge scam is brewing in the procurement of fighter aircrafts for Indian Air Force. Grave apprehensions and claims of insurmountable loss being caused to public exchequer are in public domain with the government maintaining a conspiratorial silence,” he said.Posing five questions over the issue, Surjewala asked why the Prime Minister promoted the interests of industrial group Reliance Defence Limited, which led to the company’s tie up for a joint venture with Dassault Aviation worth Rs 30,000 crore.Saying that the UPA government had negotiated 126 Rafale Aircrafts at a base price of $10.2 billion with transfer of technology, Surjewala asked whether it was correct for the NDA government to buy the 36 aircrafts at a rate which would cost $30.45 billion for 126 aircrafts without transfer of technology.Surjewala, however, downplayed questions as to why he was raising the issue now in the run up to Gujarat polls when all these things were in public domain for over an year. Answering a question on this, he said party leaders had earlier also raised in and outside Parliament but were then told that nothing was signed then. He said ever since the deal was signed in September 2016, the party was gathering information.

Ease of Doing Business: MADC appointed a coordinator for fast track development of airports in Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an effort to boost ease of doing business and facilitate smooth development of airports and connectivity, the state government has taken a crucial step to appoint Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC) as a coordinator and facilitator for existing 28 airports and development of upcoming ones.The government expects as a coordinator MADC will be best suited to link with various departments and agencies of the state government and the Centre and help curtail the time needed for clearances.In case of 28 airports, there are different owners and operators including Airports Authority of India (AAI), Ministry of Defence, MADC, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, City and Industrial Development Corporation and Reliance Group of Companies. Besides, the development of existing airports is currently being carried out by several departments thus creating an issue of coordination and possible delays.The government’s move comes after aviation experts and industry players had made series of representation for putting in place a special mechanism for hassle-free operations of all those 28 airports which will be helpful to boost the development of a respective region.Government official told DNA,”MADC as a coordinator will play a crucial role in an early completion of development works including up-gradation of the infrastructure. Besides, it will ensure a policy continuity while expediting the development works.’’This apart, the government has appointed MADC as the nodal agency on the lines of Airports Authority of India for the implementation of regional connectivity scheme (RCS) in the state.The state government has already inked an agreement with Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India for the development of 10 airports – Kolhapur, Shirdi, Amravati, Gondia, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nanded, Solapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg under the RCS which is a part of ambitious National Civil Aviation Policy, 2010. RCS aims at developing regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development from the Centre.The state government will reduce a tax on air fuel for a period of 10 years and will provide essential land free of cost. The proposed airports will be provided with roads, rail, Metro and waterway connectivity. The state government will also provide electricity, water, and necessary facilities at concessional rates.

Air connectivity between Jaipur and Agra soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaipur and Agra would soon get air connectivity under the regional air connectivity scheme of the government.Supreme Airlines which has been offering intrastate air services in the state has conducted a trial for Jaipur-Agra route which has been successful. If a permission is given by the state’s aviation department, the service may be started soon.“We have conducted a trial for Jaipur-Agra recently and it was successful,” informed Ammeet Agarwal, speaking to DNA.If the proposal is accepted and permission is given, there will be an increase in the number of tourists coming to the state. Jaipur Agra and Delhi together make a triangle in terms of tourism and both these cities.While this airline has conducted the trial run, sources informed that many other airlines are also planning to soon start service in this sector. In many media reports, it has been informed probably a flight from mid of December will be started connecting the two tourist cities.Meanwhile, Supreme Airlines are also getting ready to start flights for Sriganganagar and Sawaimadhopur.ON November 3, Directorate of Civil Aviation has asked supreme airlines to inform about the plans and tentative date to start intrastate flights at these places in the state. Notably, Sawaimadhopur has also gained a lot of popularity in the tourism circuit thanks to its wildlife tourism.,After the regional air connectivity scheme was introduced, places like Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Kota etc have got connected putting Rajasthan on air map of the country. A few days back only, flight connecting Delhi with Jaisalmer was started by Spice jet while Jaipur was connected directly with Varanasi. Sources informed that feasibility of many other places for air connectivity is being studied in the state linking other places across the country.BACK ON THE MAPAfter the regional air connectivity scheme was introduced, places like Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Kota etc have got connected putting Rajasthan on air map of the country. A few days back only, flight connecting Delhi with Jaisalmer was started by Spice jet while Jaipur was connected directly with Varanasi.

IndiGo: Fisticuffs aren’t ok, says Gajapathy Raju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after controversy erupted over a viral video that showed IndiGo staffers allegedly manhandling a passenger in Delhi, IndiGo promoter Rahul Bhatia met Civil Aviation Minister Gajapathy Raju. The minister sought an ‘independent’ report from regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the matter, saying that fisticuffs are not acceptable in a civilised society.Raju also said that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) will check whether certain procedures were violated, as the incident happened in the security area.A video surfaced on Tuesday showing IndiGo staff assaulting a passenger at the Delhi airport. The incident happened on October 15 on the tarmac. On Wednesday morning, IndiGo promoter Rahul Bhatia held meetings with Raju and civil aviation secretary R N Choubey.The minister further said that any violation on the airside is dangerous. “I understand that some of them (procedure) have not been followed and notice will go from the BCAS as to why things have not been followed,” Raju said. “We can’t have violations. These are incorrect. Can there be fisticuffs on the airside? What is this?”When asked whether there would be any punishment for the airline, Raju said, “I have not studied that.” A punitive action would depend on a lot of things, he said, adding that let the DGCA report come out.Meanwhile, President and Whole Time Director of IndiGo Aditya Ghosh, in a letter to the Civil Aviation ministry said that Montu Kalra – the self-professed whistle-blower who was sacked – not only instigated the incident but also provoked the passenger by shooting a video on his mobile phone. He also did not bring the incident to the notice of his superiors.— With agency inputs

Why no 3rd gender option in aviation hiring forms, asks SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging discrimination, a transgender filed a petition in the Supreme Court after her dream of being a cabin crew with an airline was cut short. Acting on the petition, the top court issued a notice to the Civil Aviation Ministry and Air India — who denied her the job.The bench, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, sought a response from the aviation ministry on why there is no “Third Gender” category in recruitment forms.To gain experience and bolster her resume, Shanavi Ponnusamy, an engineering graduate, worked with Sutherland Global Services and the Air India Customer Support in Chennai.Earlier this year, Ponnuswamy applied for the position of a cabin crew advertised by Air India. The Chennai resident, who was born a male, believed she fit the eligibility criteria since by then she had already undergone successful sexual reassignment surgery from Bangkok.“The petitioner pursuant thereto, applied for the said post, as she fulfilled the eligibility criteria. She applied in the female category. The petitioner received the call letter for the GD and PAT and also appeared for the said tests. The petitioner has taken four attempts so far but unfortunately she has not been shortlisted for the post in question even though she fared well in the tests conducted,” her petition read.Despite all attempts, Ponnuswamy was rejected. In response to a representation the petitioner sent to the PMO, the Ministry of Civil Aviation informed the petitioner that there was no transgender category at the time of application in the recruitment policy and as such her case is closed.“That the petitioner has learnt that she has not been able to make the cut on account of the fact that she is a transgender and the vacancies in the cabin crew are earmarked only for women,” the petition said.“The main problems being faced by the transgender community are of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, and lack of medical facilities. Transgenders have very limited employment opportunities,” she alleged in her petition.

Transgender, denied job as cabin crew in Air India, moves Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A transgender, who had undergone sex change three years ago, today moved the Supreme Court challenging Air India’s decision to deny her a job as a cabin crew.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice and sought responses from Air India and Civil Aviation Ministry in four weeks. She claimed that to pursue her dreams, she had worked for 13 months in Sutherland Global Services in the airline sector and even at Air India’s customer support, both domestic and international, at Chennai. Born in Tamil Nadu in 1989, she said she graduated in engineering in 2010. She underwent the gender surgery to turn into a woman in April 2014 and this information was published in the state government gazette.She said she had learnt about an advertisement on July 10 by Air India for the post of female cabin crew for its Northern Region office in Delhi on a fixed term engagement basis for an initial period of five years. She applied in the female category as she had undergone a successful sexual reassignment surgery in Bangkok. She said she got the call letter, appeared for GD and PAT tests and undertook four attempts, “but unfortunately she has not been short-listed for the post in question even though faring well in the tests conducted”.In her petition, she said she could not get shortlisted as she was a transgender and the vacancies in the cabin crew were earmarked only for women. She said that representations were made to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Civil Aviation but there was no redressal. She had sought direction to Air India and the Ministry for consideration of her candidature. “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 prohibits discrimination. It is clear that no person shall discriminate against a transgender person in relation to employment or occupation…”, her plea said.Citing the top court verdict of 2014, she said the apex court has given certain directions for protection of the rights of the transgender persons by including a third category in documents like election card, passport, driving license and ration card, and for admission in educational institutions, hospitals, amongst others. “By recognising diverse gender identities, the Court has busted the dual gender structure of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ which is recognized by the society,” she said in her plea. “The right to chose one’s gender identity is an essential part to lead a life with dignity which again falls under the ambit of Article 21. Determining the right to personal freedom and self determination, the Court observed that the gender to which a person belongs is to be determined by the person concerned. “The Court has given the people of India the right to gender identity. Further, they cannot be discriminated against on the ground of gender as it is violative of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21,” the plea said.

SC pulls up Air India after transgender files PIL over not being recruited; asks why third gender is not mentioned in form

Updated: Nov 6, 2017, 02:06 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Civil Aviation Ministry and Air India on the basis of a plea filed by a transgender against the airline.The transgender in her PIL claimed that the airline refused to consider her for a job because of her gender.The Supreme Court sought a response from the ministry within a two-week time period asking why there is no mention of the third gender in the Air India recruitment application.The petitioner had to apply as a female for a cabin crew job in the airline, but her application was rejected. The apex court had earlier in 2014 directed the Centre and State Governments to grant legal recognition of gender identity whether it be male, female or third-gender, giving transgenders the right to self-identification of their gender.

Jet Airways hijack threat: Civil Aviation Minister says accused identified, to take strict action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Monday said that a person responsible for the diversion of Jet Airways flight due to security threat has been identified.A Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight made an emergency landing at the Ahmedabad airport on Monday morning due after a threatening note was recovered from the toilet.”I am informed that person responsible for Jet flt 339 (Mum-Del) incident causing the landing at Ahmedabad today morn. has been identified,” said Ashok Gajapathi Raju.In another tweet, he said that he was advising the Airlines to put him on the No-Fly list immediately, in addition to other statutory criminal action.”A man Salla Birju has confessed that he had kept the ‘threatening note’ to destabilise operations in the Jet Airways flight,” reported ANI.An air hostess on board found a letter in the washroom which claimed there were hijackers and the aircraft should be flown to POK.”Flight No 9W 339 is covered by Hijackers and aircraft should not be land and flown straight to POK. 12 people on board. if you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. don’t take it as a joke. Cargo area contains explosive bomb and will blast if you land Delhi,” reads the letter.However, a flight, with 115 passengers and seven crew members, landed without incident at Ahmedabad and all 122 were safely ‘deplaned’, a Jet Airways spokesperson said in a statement.”Jet Airways is extending full cooperation to the security agencies who are investigating the matter and is not in a position to comment further at this stage. The airline regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests and is making efforts to bring them to Delhi at the earliest,” a statement reads.

Now show m-Aadhaar to enter airport; no id proof required for minors accompanied by parents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Mobile Aadhaar can be used as an identity proof to enter airports, while identification documents will not be required for minors accompanied by parents, according to a circular issued by aviation security agency BCAS.Passengers entering an airport premises need to produce any one of the ten identity proofs listed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in its latest communication, which include passport, voter ID card, Aadhaar or m-Aadhaar, PAN card and driving licence. “In order to ensure that a bonafide passenger is travelling on a valid ticket issued in his/her name as well as to avoid any controversy/argument with the security staff, any of the following photo identity documents shall be carried in original,” according to the BCAS circular issued on October 26.A passbook issued by a nationalised bank, pension card, disability photo identification and service photo ID card of central/state government, PSU, local bodies and private limited company will also be acceptable. Differently-abled persons will have to produce a disability photo ID or a medical certificate. Students also have the option to furnish a photo identity card issued by a government institute. The order, however, exempts a minor accompanied by a parent or a guardian from producing an identity proof.”There shall not be any requirement of identity proof in respect of infant/minor accompanied by their parents/guardian who is a bonafide passenger having a valid identity proof,” the order adds. If a passenger is not able to furnish one of the ten documents, then there is also an option to provide an identity certificate issued by a group A gazetted officer of central/ state government. For international passenger the requirement of producing a passport and an air ticket will continue. P

Despite glitches in evaluation, no action against MeriTrac

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even after a series of glitches and errors in the on-screen evaluation delaying the results of over 4 lakh students the state government has not taken any action against MeritTrac, the service provider, which was assigned the contract for the job. After the removal of Dr Sanjay Deshmukh from the post of Vice Chancellor, concerns are now being raised over the government’s lax approach in taking action against the company which was responsible for numerous glitches that finally led to the delay in the assessment process. Aniket Ovhal, Joint Secretary, ABVP Kokan region said that the state government must take strict action against all those who were responsible for the result mess including MeritTrac. “One cannot ignore the loss that was caused to students partly due to the failure of the company along with the VC in the whole process. Strict action should be taken against the it” added Ovhal. The university has decided to continue with the same service provider for the upcoming winter semester exams.V-C’S FAILED DECISIONSFeb 2016: University purchases aircraft to offer hands-on training in Aviation course, plan still stuck in the absence of permissionsJan 2017: Deshmukh announced assessment of over 19 lakh answer sheets through onscreen method June 2017: IDOL admissions fail to kickstart as Deshmukh decided to appoint a new service provider at the last minute. July 2017: MU sacked 470 contractual employees from its departments at the beginning of the academic year which put burden on its permanent staff at the time of assessment.

Centre yet to approve funds to construct airport in Itanagar: Arunachal CM Pema Khandu

Updated: Oct 16, 2017, 06:23 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday said that the Centre is yet to approve and allocate funds for construction of the greenfield airport in the state capital despite recommendation of the government in favour of the Hollongi site.”The matter is lingering for the past 10 years and the state government has been pursuing the matter with the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” Khadu said in response to a question raised by Congress MLA Nabam Tuki during the question hour in the Assembly.The state cabinet on May 18 this year had selected Hollongi as the site for the proposed airport, he said.The state government so far has not received any specific inputs from the ministry, he added

In Rajkot, PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of Greenfield Airport, says this is development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in poll-bound Gujarat for two days, today laid foundation stone of the greenfield airport in Rajkot.Addressing a rally after the event, the Prime Minister talked about changing definition of development.“The definition of development is changing. Earlier, a hand pump would be put and a leader would use that for multiple elections. Things have changed now. We are bringing waters of the Narmada here, for the benefit of citizens,” PM Modi said.Talking about the Rajkot airport, he said, “Who could have imagined that there would be an airport in this district? Is this not development? Is this kind of development not needed…such development works will empower citizens.”“Aviation cannot be about rich people. We have made aviation affordable and within reach of the lesser privileged,” he said.Referring to the Sardar Sarovar Dam, which he inaugurated on his 67th birthday, PM Modi said, “If there is one district that stands to gain maximum from waters of the Narmada it is Surendranagar.”“Water has always been important for Gujarat. Now that water is widely being made available, let us use it responsibly and conserve every drop of water,” the Prime Minister added.

Ambala to house India’s first Rafale base, Rs 227 crore to be spent on infrastructure

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India will have its first Rafale base in Ambala, and the preparation to get it ready have begun. Around Rs 227 crore will be spent on infrastructure including simulators, radars, etc. There will be 14 Rafale aircraft shelters by 2019.The name of the Ambala squadron will be Golden Arrow and the first Rafale jets will come in by September 2019. The Indian Air Force has initiated major infrastructure upgrade at its frontline base for deployment of the first squadron of the Rafale jets which will give India greater “potency” over Pakistan as these will be capable of carrying nuclear weapons and other missiles.The government has already sanctioned money to set up 14 shelters, hangers and maintenance facilities at the 78- year-old base for the Rafale jets whose delivery is scheduled to begin from September, 2019, a senior IAF official said.”We are creating infrastructure keeping in mind infrastructure requirement for the Rafale jets for next 40-50 years,” the official said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.The Ambala base is considered one of the most strategically located bases of the IAF as the Indo-Pak border is around 220 km from it. Currently, the base has two squadrons of the Jaguar combat aircraft and one squadron of the MiG-21 Bison.Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh, who passed away two weeks ago, was the first commander of the Ambala base in independent India.Several teams from French defence major Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, have already visited the Ambala air force base and finalised the requirement for the first squadron of combat jets.The IAF is also carrying out infrastructure upgrade at its Hasimara base in West Bengal which will house the second squadron of the Rafale jets, the official said.In September last year, India had signed a Euro 7.87 billion (approx Rs 59,000 crore) deal with the French government for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. Eighteen Rafale jets will be deployed in Ambala while an equal number of the new generation jet will be stationed in Hasimara.”We are planning to put in place all required infrastructure for Rafale squadron by end of next year,” said the IAF official.The Ambala as well as Hasimara stations will also have simulator-based training facilities for the air crew of Rafale jets. The IAF has already selected a batch of pilots to fly the jets and they are being given training by Dassault Aviation in France.The Rafale squadron to be deployed in Ambala will be known as Golden Arrows which was originally based in Bhatinda and was disbanded two years ago.The Rafale combat jets will come with various India- specific modifications including Israeli helmet mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10 hour flight data recording and infra-red search and tracking systems among others.The features that make the Rafale a strategic weapon in the hands of IAF, which is currently down to 34 squadrons as against a sanctioned strength of 44, includes its Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Meteor air-to-air missile with a range of 150 KM.Its integration on the Rafale jets will mean IAF can hit targets inside both Pakistan and across the northern and eastern borders while staying within India’s territorial boundary.

Yashwant Sinha stands by govt indictment, gets support from Shatrughan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha (79) on Thursday stood by his indictment of the government’s handling of the economy, encountering opposition from his son and support from another BJP colleague.The counter came from his son and Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha (54), while Bihar MP Shatrughan Sinha (no relation) backed him.The former finance minister on Thursday said he was forced to go public as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was yet to give him an audience despite having sought an appointment an year ago.”I stand by my analysis. I had sought an appointment to meet the PM a year ago. He has not met me. Should I be sitting in protest outside his house?” he asked.”We used to blame the UPA (previous government) for policy paralysis…. After 40 months in power, we can’t (still) blame the earlier government,” he said.Bollywood star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha quipped that the former union minister was following the PM’s dictum of “country first, party second.”In a separate statement, former union minister and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded a white paper on the state of the Indian economy. (He said banks are burdened with over Rs 9 lakh crore of non-performing assets (NPAs) and the failure of the government to infuse the capital is equally a matter of concern.)STRONG STANCEHe said he was forced to go public as PM hadn’t given him an audience for over a year
Said used to blame UPA for policy paralysis, can’t blame still after 40 months

IAF training aircraft crashes near Telangana’s Medchal district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An Indian Air Force (IAF) training aircraft on a routine flight today crashed in secluded place in Telangana’s Medchal district before bursting into flames, but the pilot is safe, police said.The accident occurred around 11:45 am in Ankireddypalli village, about 30 km from the Telangana capital, but the pilot ejected safely before the crash.The Kiran trainer aircraft had taken off from the Air Force Station at Hakimpet here, ACP (Kushaiguda Division) Syed Rafeeq said.”The pilot, identified as Aman Pandey, ejected safely using a parachute. The aircraft crashed around 2 km from the point where the pilot ejected. It crashed in an isolated place near an agricultural field and erupted in flames,” Rafeeq, told PTI after visiting the crash site.The officer said there was no damage on the ground as there were no houses or people at the place where the airplane crashed.The ACP cited a villager who had spotted the aircraft flying low and later heard a loud explosion.”According to the villager, soon after crashing the aircraft burst into flames,” Rafeeq said.Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said IAF officials visited the scene of the mishap and took the pilot along.”Two fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot to douse the blaze,” he said.”The pilot is safe. A CoI (Court of Inquiry) will be ascertaining the cause of the accident,” an IAF statement said.On March 3, 2010, two pilots had been killed after a Kiran MK-II plane, which was part of the ‘Sagar Pawan’ aerobatic team participating at the India Aviation show, had crashed into a building here.

Main runway at Mumbai airport remains shut, over 180 flights cancelled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to airport sources, NOTAM (notice to airmen) has been extended till 6 am tomorrow, which means flights will continue to operate from the secondary runway, which has a limited aircraft handling capacity.NOTAM contains information concerning the establishment, condition, or change in any facility, service or procedure, among others, in airspace management.”As many as 183 flights have been cancelled since last night, besides dozens other diverted to nearby airports due to the prolonged closure of the main runway in the wake of the SpiceJet aircraft incident,” a source said.”The process of removing the stranded aircraft from the runway is going on for the last 22 hours with the help of Air India but to no avail,” the source said.Till 5 pm today, 63 flights of the Jet Airways, eight of IndiGo, two of SpiceJet and one of GoAir were cancelled, a statement from the airport said.As many 56 flights were diverted to nearby airports till this morning.The airport operator said efforts to tow away the stranded aircraft and clear the runway had been hampered due to incessant rains.”The process of removing the aircraft has been affected due to continuous rains, resulting in soft soil in the area.NOTAM for closure of the main runway is being extended up to 6 am tomorrow,” a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson said.Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha tweeted, “#AI team assisting #RescueOperation in removal of #SpiceJet acft from #BOM runway, the only airline in India to offer this type of facility (sic).”A SpiceJet plane, carrying 183 passengers from Varanasi, skidded off the runway while landing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here at around 10 pm yesterday amid heavy rains and got stuck in the mud.Following the incident, the airport authorities moved the flight operations to the secondary runway.The Mumbai airport, which is the second busiest in the country, has two crossing runways — 09/27 (the main) and 14/32 (the secondary runway).While the primary runway can handle up to 48 arrivals and departures per hour, the secondary runway has a capacity of 35 movements per hour. Overall, there are 930 flight arrivals and departures at the Mumbai airport every day.Following the closure of the main runway and subsequent cancellation of flights, several domestic airlines decided to waive airfare penalties for passengers travelling to or from Mumbai for a particular period.Torrential rain battered Mumbai and its suburbs for the second consecutive day today, causing a massive disruption in flight operations, delaying suburban train services and forcing a large number of people to stay indoors.

Mangaluru airport: Suspicious object that led to ‘bomb scare’ was a power bank

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bomb scare at the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) following the detention of a passenger with a ‘suspicious object’ in his possession created some tense moments. However, on examination, it was found that the object was only a power bank he was carrying, airport sources said.The passenger from Kerala was about to board an IndiGo flight to Dubai via Bengaluru when he was detained with the ‘object’ late last evening, as the officials found the image of a ‘thick substance’ while screening.When the power bank was opened, it was found to contain a clay-like substance after which the passenger was taken for questioning.The device was only a China-made power bank packed in an unusual way.In view of the alert from the Home Ministry asking airports to be cautious, Aviation security agency’s chief Rajesh Kumar Chandra asked IndiGo to lodge an FIR so that a detailed examination of the clay-like substance could be carried out.The IndiGo counter was also cordoned off for some time, the sources said.An officer who came out after the examination of the device confirmed that the news carried by certain channels about ‘cell phone bomb’ was false and the device was nothing but a power bank.Later, city police commissioner T R Suresh told reporters that there was no cause for worry and reports that spread about the ‘object’ were only rumours.Airport sources also said the flight was not unduly delayed due to the incident.

130 AI pilots, 430 crew members may get grounded

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) might ground over 130 pilots and 430 cabin crew members of the national carrier, Air India (AI), for allegedly skipping the mandatory pre and post-flight alcohol tests.According to sources, these crew members had been evading the breath analyser test repeatedly, while working in flights to and from certain destinations, including Singapore, Kuwait, Bangkok, Ahmedabad, and Goa.The DGCA had already served an ultimatum to the AI management over the alleged safety violations by its crew members, ahead of the enforcement action.Under the specified safety regulations, all pilots and cabin crew members must undergo a breath analyser test before and after the flights. Aircraft rules prohibit crew members from consuming any alcoholic drink 12 hours ahead of the commencement of a flight.Any crew member who tests positive in the medical check or refuses to take a breath-analyser test is required to be taken off the flying duty for at least four weeks, and the airline is required to initiate disciplinary proceedings.Because of the large number of the errant officials, however, the DGCA might take the action in a phased manner, sources said.As per the DGCA, as many as 224 pilots and crew members of various airlines had failed the test in 2016, whereas 202 pilots and crew members failed it in 2015.Meanwhile last month, the DGCA decided to extend the notice period for senior pilots from six months to one year. Some pilots’ unions have voiced their opposition to the move.— with PTI inputs

132 pilots and 434 cabin crew of Air India skipped mandatory alcohol test: DCGA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India’s aviation regulator DGCA has found 132 pilots and 434 cabin crew of state-owned Air India to have allegedly skipped the mandatory pre and post-flight alcohol test this year and they face the prospect of being grounded.These crew members had regularly been “evading” the breath analyser(BA) test over a period of time for flights to and from certain destinations such as Singapore, Kuwait, Bangkok, Ahmedabad and Goa, sources close to the development told PTI today.Air India on its part said it is in full compliance of all the norms set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) and that it will be complying with any directive issued by the the regulator.Any crew member who tests positive in the pre-flight medical check or refuses to take a breath-analyser test is required to be taken off flying duty for at least four weeks and the airline is required to initiate disciplinary proceedings, according to civil aviation rules.DGCA has already served an ultimatum to the Air India management over the alleged safety violations by the airline’s crew members ahead of its enforcement action, the sources said.As part of the DGCA’s safety regulations, all pilots and cabin crew must undergo the BA test before and after flights.Notably, aircraft rules prohibit crew members from taking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight.”The DGCA already brought it to the notice of Air India management that its 132 pilots and 434 cabin crew have evaded the mandatory breath analyser(BA) test, which is to be taken both before and after operating a flight. It is a safety violation and it (DGCA) is taking a suitable action against these crew members,” the sources said.Since the grounding of such a large number of crew members could cripple the airline’s narrow body operations, the DGCA is likely to enforce its action in a phased manner, the sources said.Stating that Air India is in full compliance of all the DGCA norms, an airline statement said, ” We are working with DGCA and will be complying with any directive issued by the DGCA.”Referring to the present issue of the crew allegedly skipping the tests, the statement said the Civil Aviation Requirements(CAR) of the DGCA indicated that all schedule flights originating from destinations outside India, post flight-breath BA examination of each flight and cabin crew are to be carried out on reaching India.”This has been interpreted by the Airline Management as a requirement to carry out post flight medical after completion of their flight which gets over at final destination,” it said.Significantly, the DGCA had in February suspended the flying license of Air India’s then executive director for operations, Arvind Kathpalia, for three months after an internal probe found him “guilty” of skipping the breath analyser test for one particular flight.Kathpalia is now head of operations and a Board member at the disinvestment-bound Air India. As per DGCA, 224 pilots and crew members of various airlines failed the test in 2016, whereas 202 pilots and crew members failed the test in 2015.

Govt finally removes rape-convict’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s name from special airport privileges list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has ordered that rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh be removed from the list of dignitaries allowed access to the VIP lounge of airports.A CBI court last week sentenced the self-styled godman and chief of Dera Sacha Sauda sect to 20 years in prison – 10 years each for two rape cases.”It has now been decided to withdraw the permission for use of reserve lounge at airports granted to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, with immediate effect,” says a letter dated September 1 from the Civil Aviation ministry to the chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).Permission to access “reserve lounges” at airports comes under the purview of the the ministry. However, it could not be immediately ascertained when Gurmeet Singh was given this perk.A senior official of AAI said instructions have been passed on to regional executive directors as well as airport directors to comply with the order.

Pilots guild file plea against DGCA ruling on 1-yr notice period

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Air India. The notice was in reaction to a plea that challenged the DGCA’s decision which stated that senior pilots have to serve a one year notice period before quitting or shifting to another airline.The court has sought a response of the Centre, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the airline, on the petition by Indian Pilots Guild, who represent senior Air India pilots who operate wide-body aircraft.The DGCA rules were announced on August 16 where it stated that a one-year notice period would have to be served by commanders and six months by co-pilots before they join another airline.During the hearing, central government standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, who also appeared for the DGCA, said it had the powers to issue such directives.Informing the court about the acute shortage of pilots, Kanth also said that it takes eight to nine months to train one and the government has to ensure that an airline runs smoothly. To this, the court responded that nowadays, airlines run smoothly as they have their own management .The next date of hearing on October 16.The issue of pilots serving one year as notice period has been brewing for some time. Earlier in May, various domestic airlines, under the banner of the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), mooted the proposal, urging the DGCA to make it one year arguing they put in a lot of time and effort on training pilots.However, various domestic pilot bodies had opposed the proposal on the ground that it was “exploitative” as a longer notice period would mean airlines could act in as “vindictive” manner towards those quitting.

Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University all set for inauguration on Aug 18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The country’s first aviation university at Fursatganj in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district is all set for inauguration on August 18.Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, his deputy Jayant Sinha, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Congress vice president and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi, among others are expected to attend the inaugural event, officials of the Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU) told PTI.The central university was planned as an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation with an aim to facilitate and promote aviation studies, teaching, training and research.The university is planning the launch of its flagship programme in 2018 at its campus in Fursatganj. A number of management development programmes have also been planned and shall be conducted in subsequent years, the officials, who did not wish to be named, said.The Cabinet had in 2013 given its approval to the proposal for setting up of the university.The Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University Bill, 2013 had received the assent of the President of India and published in the Gazette of India on September 19, 2013.About 26.35 acres of land available with the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, an autonomous flying training institute under the central government, was identified for setting up of the RGNAU in its first phase (2013-14 to 2018- 19).Fursatganj lies at the border of Rae Bareli and Amethi.In line with its objective of promoting aviation teaching and training, RGNAU has signed an MoU with GMR Aviation Academy for Joint PG Diploma in Aviation/ Airport Operations which is an employability oriented program focused at providing trained manpower to the industry, officials said.The university is also planning to launch MBA programme in aviation management in near future, they said, adding RGNAU shall also be affiliating colleges/ institutes for B.Sc.(Hons.) in aircraft maintenance.

Damania on indefinite dharna for Cambata Aviation employees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Social activist Anjali Damania today began an indefinite dharna (sit-in) at Azad Maidan here demanding immediate payment of salaries and other dues of the 3,000 odd employees of Cambata Aviation. Damania, a former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, demanded to declare MIAL as the “principal employer” for the ground handling agency which has ceased operations in Mumbai and New Delhi. Affected employees and their family members also joined Damania in the protest and held various union leaders responsible for their sorry state of affairs. Addressing the gathering of aggrieved employees and their family members, Damania said, “I have a list of 57 people who used to be the so-called employees on payroll in the Cambata Aviation but never did any job as they belonged to various political parties. “There was a systematic plan to close the company and hand over its operations to other agency without settling the dues to the existing employees.” Putting forward her demands on behalf of the aggrieved employees, Damania said, “Our demand is to declare MIAL as the ‘principal employer’ for the closed aviation company and the dues of the workers should be paid by it.” She also demanded that the state government and central agencies do the needful to release the dues of aggrieved employees. “It is extremely unfortunate that on one side they have not been paid their salaries for last 18-months and even the provident fund too has been held up,” Damania said. The social activist said she has lodged a written complaint with the Enforcement Directorate in the month of January this year along with “clinching documents”, but there has been no progress at all.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA EXCLUSIVE: GMR DIALs wrong numbers, registers losses in crores

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Public-private partnership (PPP) isn’t really a partnership at all in the case of Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd (DIAL), a consortium led by the GMR group, actually ‘socialise’ the losses and privatise the profits. CAG’s (Comptroller and Auditor General) 2016 draft revenue audit, accessed by DNA, revealed that the government lost Rs 2,397 crore in this airport from non-aeronautical services in the last six years.Under the PPP contract, DIAL had agreed to share 45.99 per cent of its gross revenue with Airports Authority of India (AAI), a government agency in the private-public partnership. But CAG’s draft revenue audit shows that DIAL has not honoured the revenue-sharing and other terms and conditions.DIAL has formed 11 joint ventures to run non-aeronautical operations, and its agreement with these JVs provided from 10 per cent to 61 per cent sharing of gross revenue on contract. AAI has been deprived of this revenue as per terms. In 2009, the UPA government allowed DIAL to recover Airport Development Fees (ADF) from passengers. CAG sources said DIAL collected more than Rs 3,500 crore from ADF and diverted this amount to cover project costs – which it was supposed to arrange from other sources like banks. However, more than one-fourth of its capital cost was paid by the passengers.DNA had sent a mail to GMR, but they did not respond till the time of going to press.Now, the GMR-led operator of IGI airport is saying that it has no money to fund mandatory security expenses at the airport. Sources said that DIAL is trying to hike charges to pay the security personal. This is not the first instance of financial mess in DIAL operations. In 2012, CAG carried out a performance audit and found anomalies in the so-called PPP mode of development.DIAL is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and German firm Fraport. In January 2006, DAIL was awarded the contract to operate, manage and develop IGI Airport in a competitive bidding process. In April 2006, DIAL entered into a Operation, Management and Development Agreement (OMDA), and in May 2006, the AAI handed over IGI airport to DIAL and gave it exclusive rights to operations, maintenance, development and management of the airport.In 2006, the Ministry of Civil Aviation projected an additional Rs40,454 Cr for modernisation of the existing airport — at the time when the OMDA and State Support Agreement were being considered. Interestingly, all this was taking place in the absence of any regulator.DIAL IN1996: Modernisation of Delhi Airports considered by AAI
2003: Government approved long term lease by joint venture with 74 per cent equity of private consortium and 26 per cent of AAI
2005: Bid submission made by GMR-Fraport and others
2006: EGoM awarded Delhi Airport to GMR-Fraport
2008: AERA (Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Of India) bill passed in Parliament
2009: Airport Development Fee (ADF) was fixed
2010: AREA appellate tribunal established
2011: CAG report on DIAL tabled in Parliament
2015: CAG issued letter to Ministry of Civil Aviation for further meaningful audit
2016: Ministry replied to CAG saying AAI should ask for records and documents
2016: CAG confirmed that audit had initiated an exercise (July to August 2015) to certify revenue collections of AAI from DIAL.
2017: DIAL says it doesn’t have money to pay CISF

Indian doctor arrested for allegedy groping minor girl on New Jersey-bound flight in US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 28-year-old Indian doctor has been arrested for allegedly groping a minor girl who was sitting next to him on a New Jersey-bound United Airlines flight, according to media reports.The 16-year-old girl, who was travelling alone on July 23, was asleep on the flight, when a stranger’s hand on her thigh awakened her, the Washington Post reported.The man, identified as Vijakumar Krishnappa, sitting next to her quickly removed his hand, according to a federal court complaint, and the teenager went back to sleep. Then, she woke up again and this time, the man was groping her, the complaint says.She reported the incident to the airline crew and was allowed to move seats.Once the flight from Seattle landed at Newark Liberty International Airport, the girl, from Washington state, called her parents. While she did, the accused left the airport, said Johnny McCray, an attorney for the girl’s family.The girl’s family has filed a complaint against United Airlines for neglecting to detain Krishnappa after the alleged assault, the report said.The FBI was called to handle the investigation.It used the flight manifest to track down Krishnappa, a doctor from India. The girl identified him from a photo array, ABC reported.Krishnappa was charged in the federal court in Newark, a day after the incident, according to court records filed by the FBI charging him with criminal sexual contact.Court records show he was arrested and charged with knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a minor female, the report said.He has been released on bond, placed on electronic monitoring, and ordered to not have any contact with minors while the criminal case is pending, according to court records.The doctor’s court-appointed attorney, John Yauch, told the Post that his client “adamantly denies the charges and deserves to be considered an innocent man.” Krishnappa is studying medicine in the United States through a months-long fellowship that allows for doctors from foreign countries to learn from experts in the US, the daily said.A spokesman from the Federal Aviation Administration told the daily that the airlines typically notify law enforcement about incidents before landing.”The safety and security of our customers is our top priority. We take these allegations seriously and continue to work closely with the proper authorities as part of their review,” a spokesperson for United Airlines said in a statement.

Air India to save Rs 8-10 crore annually on non-veg food decision: Jayant Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Air India’s decision to stop serving non-vegetarian meals to economy class passengers on domestic flights is expected to save Rs 8-10 crore annually, the government said today.Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the move is to save costs, reduce wastage, improve service and also avoid any chances of mix-up of meals. “The annual saving is expected to be around Rs 8-10 crore per annum,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. On whether the views of air passengers were solicited before taking the decision, Sinha replied in the affirmative and added that passenger feedback through cabin crew was received.The debt-laden national carrier has been taking various steps to reduce costs and revive its financial fortunes. These include rationalisation of certain loss making routes and enhanced utilisation of new fleet. In a separate written reply, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said FIR (First Information Report) has already been registered by the CBI regarding the alleged irregularities in procurements/ purchase of aircraft by Air India. “The National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) was formed on April 1, 2007 by the merger of the erstwhile Indian Airlines and erstwhile Air India.”The erstwhile Air India had placed an order for 68 Boeing aircraft in December 2005 and the erstwhile Indian Airlines had placed an order for 43 Airbus aircraft in February 2006,” Raju said.

‘Dabolim airport to operate even after Mopa airport comes up’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said the airport at Dabolim will continue to operate even after new greenfield airport at Mopa in North district is commissioned. “The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India on July 01, 2010 has communicated approval for continuation of civilian operations at Dabolim Civil Aviation Enclave, even after the commissioning of the new International airport at Mopa,” Parrikar said in a written reply during the ongoing Monsoon session of the Assembly. Parrikar said the state government has made it clear in the tendering process of Mopa Airport project that the civilian enclave at Dabolim Airport will continue to function even after commissioning of the Mopa Airport. “Government feels that for the growth of tourism in the state both Dabolim and Mopa Airport have to function simultaneously for civilian operations,” he added. The new airport at Mopa is expected to be commissioned in 2020. GMR Goa International Airport won the contract to build and operate the greenfield airport at Mopa last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Panel to finalise regulations for drones, says govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The civil aviation ministry has set up a committee, which includes officers from security agencies, to finalise the regulations for use of drones, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said today. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, he also said that no firm timelines have been fixed for regulations on the use of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). “Pursuant to the discussions held in the Ministry of Home Affairs, a committee has been formed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on May 11, 2017, comprising officers from regulators and security agencies to finalise the regulations on UAS,” said the minister of state for civil aviation. As on date, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has not issued standards and recommended practices for certification and operation of civil UAS, he said. “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has prepared an air transport circular regarding ‘Guidelines for obtaining Unique Identification Number (UIN) and operation of Civil Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)’ in consultation with various stakeholders,” he said. In a separate reply, the minister said a project named ‘Biometric Access Control System at Airports’, costing Rs 33.23 crore, has been approved for implementation at 72 airports by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). “The objective of the project is to replace the existing system of paper-based Airport Entry Permits and enable biometric-enabled smart card-based access control system for staff and personnel (excluding passengers) requiring entry to the airports,” he noted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mangaluru: Massive tragedy averted after Air India Express veers off runway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A mishap was averted at the Mangaluru airport in Karnataka in the wee hours today when an AI aircraft from Dubai with 185 passengers on board, veered off the runway slightly while touching down, an Air India Express official said.The incident involving the flight- IX 814 – took place at around 04:45 hours and all the passengers and crew were unhurt, the official said.”The aircraft suddenly took a right turn while touching down due to unfavourable winds”, he said.”An alert pilot immediately corrected the path and the aircraft landed safely”, said the official, adding the matter has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.The aircraft was inspected and no “noticeable damage” was found, the official said.The Mangaluru airport is notorious for its table-top runway as the location is on a hill top, preventing extension of the runway.In May 2010, an Air India Express plane from Dubai had overshot the runway and plunged down the cliff into a wooded valley, killing 158 people.

5 hurt as IndiGo bus window shatters at IGI airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a freak incident, five people sitting inside IndiGo’s shuttle service at the Indira Gandhi International airport’s domestic terminal were injured when a glass of the bus shattered due to jet blast of a Spice Jet’s aircraft standing nearby. The plane landed from Chandigarh.All the five passengers were declared fit to fly after treatment and the police are looking into the matter. The Bureau of Civil Aviation was also alerted immediately about the incident that took place around 4.30 pm on Friday, and an inquiry has been initiated, sources said.”Five passengers were injured, out of which three required medical assistance, and were rushed to Medanta clinic at the airport. Their condition was stated to be fine and they were declared fit to fly,” said a senior officer from the airport.All the three passengers, Yogesh Kumar, Astha Dixit and Iqbal Khan, who required medical assistance were accommodated on the next flight, the DCP, IGI, Snjay Bhatia said. He added that senior officers from both the airlines also visited the spot and a case under relevant sections was registered.THE INCIDENTAccording to airport officials, a SpiceJet flight SG253 that had arrived at the Delhi airport from Chandigarh was to be parked at bay number 6 near the apron in front of bay 17 where passengers were boarding an IndiGo coach for flight 6E191 for Mumbai.The SpiceJet flight took a turn for bay number 6 and used the engine thrust which broke a glass of the window of the IndiGo bus(behind the driver’s seat). It happened due to the SpiceJet aircraft’s engine power thrust.

IndiGo coach window shatters from jet blast, five injured; probe ordered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passengers on-board an IndiGo coach at the airport here sustained minor injuries after a window shattered due to a jet blast allegedly from a SpiceJet plane approaching a parking bay.An IndiGo spokesperson said the right front window of its bus was broken from the impact of the blast. Five passengers who received minor injuries were taken to the airport clinic.The matter is being probed by aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).”IndiGo Coach number 34 was parked at Bay 17 today at 16:50 hours for boarding of passengers on flight 6E-191 enroute Delhi-Mumbai. At the same time, an arriving aircraft of Spicejet SG-253 took a to park at the allocated bay. The jet blast from the aircraft broke the right front window glass of the coach,” IndiGo said in a statement.A response from SpiceJet is awaited.

Jet blast shatters IndiGo plane’s window, five injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passengers on-board a Delhi-Mumbai IndiGo flight, which was preparing for take-off, sustained minor injuries after a window pane shattered due to jet blast from a SpiceJet plane approaching a parking bay, an IndiGo spokesperson said today. The incident took place yesterday evening when the right front window of the aircraft broke from the impact of the blast, the spokesperson said. Five passengers received minor injuries and were taken to the airport clinic. The matter is being probed by aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). “IndiGo Coach number 34 was parked at Bay 17 yesterday at 16:50 hours for boarding of passengers on flight 6E-191 enroute Delhi-Mumbai. At the same time, an arriving aircraft of Spicejet SG-253 took a turn to park at the allocated bay. The jet blast from the aircraft broke the right front window glass of the coach,” IndiGo said in a statement. SpiceJet is yet to respond to a query sent by(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India’s tough anti-hijacking law comes into force

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The country’s new anti-hijacking law, which prescribes capital punishment in the event of death of “any person”, has come into force following a government notification. The 2016 Anti-Hijacking Act replaces a 1982-vintage law, according to which hijackers could be tried only in the event of death of hostages, such as flight crew, passengers and security personnel. In the new law, the definition has been expanded to include death of “security personnel on board” or “ground support staff” as well. In other cases of hijacking, guilty will be punished with imprisonment for life and fine, besides confiscation of movable and immovable property held by him or her. The new law, which has come into effect after its notification on July 5, includes several acts within the definition of hijacking including making a threat, attempts or abetment to commit the offence. Those who organise or direct others to commit such offence will also be considered to have committed the offence of hijacking.The new law mandates the central government to confer powers of investigation, arrest and prosecution on any officer of the central government or National Investigation Agency (NIA). A bill to repeal 1982’s Anti-Hijacking Act in this regard was introduced in Rajya Sabha by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on December 17, 2014. After a few days, it was referred to a parliamentary panel which gave its report in March 2015. The bill was passed on May 4, 2016 in the Upper House, and on May 9, 2016 in the Lok Sabha.

On last day, EC Chief Nasim Zaidi warns against anonymous electoral bonds political funding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nasim Zaidi, who demitted office as the Chief Election Commissioner today, described his tenure at Nirvachan Sadan as “satisfying”, saying he achieved a lot and initiated several electoral reforms.”It was satisfying. I achieved a lot. We initiated several steps… It was really satisfying,” he told PTI after a warm send off at his office.Zaidi had assumed charge as the 20th chief election commissioner on April 19, 2015.Before that he was an election commissioner since July 7, 2012.Prior to joining the constitutional body, Zaidi, an IAS officer of 1976 batch, was the Civil Aviation Secretary.Zaidi also raised concern over the finance ministry’s move to set reforms for political funding, saying such bonds would have a negative impact on efforts to bring about transparency in political funding.His concerns came after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley notied that the current system of political funding, which has prevailed for over 70 years, does not bring any credit to the world’s largest democracy, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been insisting on this reform and it will be taken as a “top priority” as there is “strong public support” for it.Achal Kumar Joti, the senior-most commissioner after Zaidi, will take over as the next CEC tomorrow.

Prove that it’s not possible to dump human waste from midair: NGT to DGCA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the aviation regulator DGCA to substantiate its claim that it is impossible to dump human waste from aircraft tanks mid-air.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to file an affidavit in this regard before August two, the next date of hearing.”DGCA and CPCB, after consultation with experts, would file an affidavit and state whether under any circumstances, intentionally or unintentionally, it is possible for an aircraft to release any waste during flights,” the bench said.The direction came after the counsel, appearing for DGCA, told the tribunal that the regulator has gone through the report of a three-member committee and concluded that it is impossible to empty the waste tanks of the aircraft mid-air.He told the bench that there was a manual system by which the human waste tank is emptied after the flight lands and by no means the cabin crew can operate the tank during the flight.”We cannot risk the lives of numerous passengers by opening the tanks mid-air. The cabin crew does not have access to the human waste tank as it is operated manually. This is the reason we have yet not passed any direction to the airlines. We would become a laughing stock by asking them something which is not possible,” the counsel said.During the proceedings, Lt Gen (Retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya, who has filed plea seeking action against the airlines for dumping human excreta, said the DGCA was deliberately trying to delay the implementation of the NGT order by referring to instances in foreign countries.He alleged that CPCB scientist R M Bhardwaj, who inspected his house and took samples of excreta, had clearly mentioned this in his initial report that human waste was splashed on his terrace but later changed his report “under pressure.”The tribunal had taken strong exception to the non- issuance of a circular by the DGCA to the airlines and the ground handling services to stop release of waste from aircraft tanks while landing or anywhere near the IGI Airport terminals here.The NGT had asked the aviation watchdog to issue a circular making it clear that aircraft would be subjected to surprise inspection to check whether these tanks are empty or not.It had last year held that if “any aircraft, airlines and the handling services of registered aircraft” were found to be dumping human waste in air or toilet tanks were found to have been emptied before landing, they shall be subjected to environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 per case of default.The NGT had also asked the DGCA to carry out surprise inspection of aircraft landing at the airport to check that their toilet tanks are not empty while landing and prevent waste from being splashed over residential areas and any other place before landing

High altitude passenger cable ropeway inaugurated in Sikkim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A high altitude passenger ropeway was inaugurated at Tsmogo in East Sikkim has been thrown open to the public, state tourism department sources said today. The ropeway is at an altitude of 3,753 metres (12,313 ft) and was inaugurated on July 1 by Ugen T Gyatso, state tourism and civil aviation minister. The ropeway has been built in Tsomgo keeping in mind that the area is one of the biggest tourism hubs of the Himalayan state. With other attractions like Tsomgo Lake, Serathang, Baba Mandir and Nathula with Sino-India border in its vicinity, the new ropeway is intended at raising the number of tourists to the area. The ropeway has been constructed by Conveyor and Ropeway Services Pvt Ltd in association with Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Government of Sikkim.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Move over Dubai: Mumbai plans its own mega shopping festival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Dubai Shopping Festival and the Great Singapore Sale may have competition from Aamchi Mumbai. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is planning a ‘Mumbai Shopping Festival’ to pitch the city as an integrated shopping and leisure hub and boost tourism.”We are planning a fortnight-long Mumbai Shopping Festival in December to showcase a bouquet of shopping, culture, lifestyle, glamour and luxury experiences to domestic and foreign tourists. This will project Mumbai as a global shopping hub,” a senior MTDC official told DNA.The official said apart from discounts and promotions, the shopping festival would have cultural zones, exhibitions, kisan melas and events centered around themes like glamour, beauty, luxury, lifestyle and showbiz. These will be held at malls and grounds.”We will also involve small retailers and big brands. While the shopping experience can be taken across Mumbai, we may hold events either at three locations — one each in the city, western and eastern suburbs — or in each of the six Lok Sabha constituencies,” the official noted, adding that tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal had held a meeting with stakeholders.The shopping festival, which may become an annual feature, is likely to be held for a fortnight after December 21.Apart from offers and discounts, the MTDC will call on museums and art galleries to increase visiting hours. Requests will be made to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and airlines to reduce fares, and to the state excise department to allow restaurants and bars to remain open further into the night.”We will request organisers to hold events like film festivals during this period. This will ensure that the fortnight sees maximum activity in Mumbai,” the official explained.Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, said the festival should not be restricted to just malls but also cover smaller retailers and shopkeepers. This would help these businesses at a time when they were facing intense competitions from online players, noted Shah.

Centre gives green signal for Greater Noida International Airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Centre has granted approval for a greenfield International Airport at Jewar in Greater Noida. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju on Saturday said, ?We have granted approval for the Greenfield International Airport at Jewar, Greater Noida, to cater to growing flying requirements of NCR?. He added that Noida International Airport will cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years. Minister of State, Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha said that all important towns in Western UP will benefit from this airport. The proposed airport will come up at Jewar near the 165-km Yamuna Expressway. Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh thanked the Narendra Modi Government for giving approval for Jewar airport. ?The Jewar airport will be the cargo hub of the country apart from catering to domestic and international traffic,? Singh said. The proposal for the airport was first given by then UP chief minister and now Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in 2001, but did not yield results as successive state governments failed to show interest. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised to develop airport at Jewar in its election manifesto. After Yogi Adityanath took the reins of Uttar Pradesh, he ordered the work on the project to be expedited. As a result, RITES Limited, the consulting arm of Indian Railways, has conducted an obstacle limitation survey (OLS) in May.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India to operate extra flights to Qatar for ‘stranded’ nationals

State-owned Indian Airlines and private carrier Jet Airways will begin the flights from Thursday.

Seeking loan waiver has become fashion these days: Venkaiah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said seeking loan waiver has become a “fashion” now but it is not the final solution and should be considered in extreme situations. Farmers in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha recently protested over various issues concerning them, including the demand for waiving off their loans. “Seeking loan waiver has become a fashion these days. But waiving off loans is not the final solution and it should be considered in extreme situations,” said Naidu, who was in the city for an event. He said farmers need to get good remunerative price for their produce and care should also be taken of those in distress. “Most importantly we should create adequate infrastructure and facilities like godowns, cold storage, refrigerator vans, among others. Also, we will have to ensure that affordable credit is available to these farmers,” Naidu said. So far states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have announced loan waiver. On the Centre’s proposal to sell state-run carrier Air India, Naidu said the government’s role is more of a facilitator and an administrator which should focus on creating infrastructure. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier pitched for Air India’s divestment, saying it has a market share of 14 per cent whereas its debt is Rs 50,000 crore, following which the the Civil Aviation Ministry said it was looking at all possible alternatives to make the airline viable. Tata group is believed to be discussing buying a stake in debt-laden Air India as the government mulls various options, including full or partial privatisation, to revive the national carrier, sources said. “We have seen what has happened to Air India. The government has no business to be in business. It should focus on administration, delivering health and education facilities, connectivity and providing basic amenities and it has to be a helping hand,” Naidu said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

After 64 years, Tatas want to pilot Air India; group in talks with govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost 64 years after Air India was taken over by the Central government from Tata Sons, and nationalised, the life may come full circle for the Mumbai-based conglomerate.The group’s Chairman N Chandrasekaran is reported to be in talks with the Central government to buy controlling stakes in the airline, reports a business news channel. The group may also bring Singapore Airlines on board to buy 49 per cent stakes in the national carrier, in case the airline is entirely privatised.Chandrasekaran, who has shown concern over the airline’s debt situation, has been assured by the government that the problem would be taken care of so that the deal becomes lucrative, the report added.DNA Money has learned that a Chandrasekaran-led Tata Group team had also visited the office of Ministry of Civil Aviation a few weeks ago. This is around the same time when the Centre’s think tank, Niti Ayog, had recommended strategic disinvestment of Air India which would allow the Centre to pump more money on priority social sectors. However, why was the meeting held and what all was discussed could not be confirmed by DNA Money.A source in Air India says that the Tata group had in the past shown interest in operating only on the international routes.This is apart from having the national carrier’s huge pilot and engineering base, including its brand name, which has tremendous recall value, especially among the NRIs. Tata group also holds substantial share in Vistara and AirAsia India.In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had in April said that Air India is projected to post an operating profit of Rs 300 crore in the current fiscal. He said the carrier’s net losses are also reducing gradually on account of the overall improvements in the “operational and financial performance”.Last fiscal, Air India had an operating profit of Rs 105 crore. The national carrier, which has a debt in excess of Rs 50,000 crore, is surviving on fund infusion by the government. The Turnaround Plan (TAP) provides for equity infusion over Rs 30,000 crore in the airline up to 2021 subject to achieving certain milestones.The airline, first formed by Tata group in 1931, named it as Tata Airline which was later changed to Air India just a year after the country’s independence. In 1953, the airline was nationalised by the government. However, Tata’s love for the aviation sector never died. In 1990s, when the sector was opened up, Ratan Tata along with Singapore Airlines proposed to start a domestic carrier. But the laws were allegedly manipulated so as to bar foreign carriers from owning any share in the domestic carrier….& ANALYSISIt’s a positive development for AI as Tata group is showing interest in it again.
Despite being debt-ridden, AI holds considerable assets in India and across the world.
The government will have to take a haircut in order to make the deal attractive.

Unruly behaviour won’t be accepted Aviation Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday said that unruly behaviour by anyone will not be tolerated and that law will take its own course in the regard. Raju told the media here that no probe is needed in connection with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP J.C. Diwakar Reddy creating ruckus as the CCTV camera recording is enough to unveil the truth. ?The behaviour is unacceptable. No one should behave like this, no parliamentarian or any citizen should conduct themselves in an unruly manner. Law will take its own course. He came and told me that I have been waiting for one hour at the airport and I have been denied boarding,? said Raju. ?I have the third Umpire– the CCTV camera. We don?t have to take anybody?s word. The CCTV camera showed what the situation was. I have asked the airport director to verify from the CCTV camera. There is no need for a probe. The CCTV camera shows it,? he added. Earlier in the day, Raju refuted reports that he helped Reddy from getting a boarding pass. Terming the reports as “false,” the minister assured to find out the exact details behind the incident. “This is false reporting. There was no such intervention as reported,” Raju tweeted. “I will get the entire incident at Vizag Airport enquired into to find out the exact details and ensure that lawful outcomes follow,” he said. Reddy has been barred by six major airlines, including Spicejet and IndiGo, after he had an altercation with IndiGo staffer over boarding pass. He started creating ruckus inside the airport for denying a boarding pass. He reached the airport just 28 minutes before his flight was to take off. However, he was later provided a boarding pass, reportedly with the help of Raju. Reddy rebuffed the charges and denied misbehaving with any official of the IndiGo. The TDP MP said there were a number of people standing at the counter when he reached the airport, who had not been granted the boarding pass. But Indigo confirmed the reports of the ruckus and said that Reddy behaved aggressively with the staff. Reportedly, Reddy had repeated this same behaviour in October last year at the Vijaywada Airport when he had arrived late to catch an Air India flight. He had resorted to vandalism and an argument.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TDP MP Reddy refuses to comment on ruckus at Vizag airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TDP MP J C Diwakar Reddy, who allegedly created ruckus yesterday at the Visakhapatnam airport after he was denied boarding by IndiGo for being late, today said he would not like to comment on the issue. Reddy allegedly got into a verbal spat with the ground staff and threw a printer kept at the airline’s counter after he was informed that boarding for his flight had closed. He was finally accommodated on the same flight, but all the major domestic carriers, including IndiGo, later banned him from their flights. “(I have) Nothing to say. I don’t want to speak anything,” Reddy told reporters here today, with folded hands, when asked if he was apologetic over his actions. Reddy, the Lok Sabha member from Anantapur, has been banned by all domestic airlines following his alleged unruly behaviour. He was yesterday scheduled to fly IndiGo’s flight 6E-608, which departs from Visakhapatnam at 8.10 am, to Hyderabad. But he reached just 28 minutes before the scheduled departure, according to the airline. As per the norms laid out by the aviation regulator, airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure. Prior to yesterday’s incident, Reddy had allegedly vandalised the Air India office at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada last year after he missed his flight. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who also belongs to the same party, today said he would get the entire incident “enquired into” and will ensure “lawful outcomes” follow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Civil Aviation ministry wants GST deferred

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has asked the Union government to defer the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) by two months as some of the airlines, including national carrier Air India, have expressed their apprehension at meeting the deadline which is scheduled from July 1.The ministry said the major airlines are dependent upon the global distribution system (GDS) software for booking tickets, and it will require major changes in the system for amalgamating the new taxation regime. The letter to Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, was reportedly written by Civil Aviation secretary Rajiv N Choubey on Monday.Interestingly, on Wednesday, Adhia had tweeted that rumours about GST implementation being delayed were false, and people should not be misled by it.In their letter to the government, the MoCA also raised concerns, claiming that the GST regime will benefit foreign carriers more than domestic ones for two reasons, i.e., input tax credit and international travel. Therefore, a full tax credit should also be extended to economy class travel as well.The differential input tax credit between the economy and business classes will adversely affect airlines, rating agency ICRA had stated in its latest report released in May.”With the airlines generating a major portion of their revenues from the economy class, disallowance of input tax credit on inputs (excluding services) for the economy class will result in an additional cost to the airlines,” said ICRA’s assistant vice president and co-head for corporate sector ratings, Kinjal Shah.The Indian airlines, sources say, are also concerned that the new taxation system will favour foreign carriers over domestic ones, and thereby making fares for direct flights to be higher. Under the new law, non-stop flights will become more expensive in comparison to the stop-over flights. This may prompt passengers to book flights with Gulf-based carriers who have their bases in their respective countries.The ministry has also asked the government to reconsider the inter-state transfer of the spare parts not meant for resale. This will help in reducing the maintenance cost.The letter by the MoCA comes after a number of letters written by airlines lobby group International Air Transport Association (IATA), has in the past written to the government as well as the MoCA saying that the airlines even though like to adopt the GST, however will not be able to comply due to sheer lack of guidelines for its application. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had earlier written to the finance ministry suggesting several methods through which the airlines that will not be able to take input tax credit on aviation turbine fuel under GST can be compensated.The GST tax rate on air travel has been fixed at 5 per cent, which is lower than the prevailing rate of 6 per cent and 9 per cent for economy and premium travel, respectively.Commenting on the development, Bengaluru-based aviation analyst Devesh Agarwal said, “When the entire country is gearing up towards the GST roll-out, I do not understand why the civil aviation sector wants its deferment. Every sector has issues with something or the other and they trying to address it with the government. The civil aviation sector should do the same”….& ANALYSISThe ministry’s request to defer the implementation of GST may now prompt other sectors to demand similar extensions.
It should handle the situation like other ministeries are doing.

Haj embarkation point: Will pressure Centre: Ker CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala government would again take up with the Centre issue of making Karipur International airport in Kozhikode the embarkation point for Haj pilgrims, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today. “The government will impress upon the Centre in this regard,” he said at a meeting of the representatives of various Muslim outfits here. Vijayan said the government was committed to the development and expansion of Karipur airport. The government is ready to acquire adequate land for the airport’s expansion and local protests over acquisition has now decreased, he said. The Civil Aviation Ministry was also taking a favourable stand in terms of the airport expansion, the chief minister added. While referring to the Centre’s recent ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets, Vijayan said the state government was not viewing the issue as connected to any particular religion but as a matter of the right of people to choose their food. He said secularism is facing serious threat at the national level and everybody should take a strong stand to safeguard this. Local self-government minister K T Jaleel was also present during the meeting along with the representatives of various Muslim outfits.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Act against buildings flouting height norms near airport:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to take a serious note of the rising number of structures flouting height regulation norms near the airport in the city and initiate appropriate action. A division bench of justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak was hearing a petition filed by activist Yashwant Shenoy seeking action against the structures violating the height regulation norms near the domestic and international terminals. The court had earlier asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to tackle the issue on a war-footing and initiate action against all such structures that have become an obstacle in the flight path. The bench was today informed by the DGCA that it has carried out year-wise surveys and for the year of 2010-11, out of 137 structures, 35 structures have flouted the height regulation norms. The court directed the DGCA to follow the due process of law and pass final orders in respect of these 35 structures. “We find that with respect to these 35 structures, the developer or builder has violated the height norms. We direct the DGCA to forthwith take action against these structures and pass appropriate orders in accordance with the law,” the court said. “We are satisfied with the action and steps taken by the DGCA. We direct the Ministry of Civil Aviation to also consider the issue and take appropriate action,” Justice Kanade said. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on June 15.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Helicopter crashes in Badrinath, engineer dies @ 6/10/2017 5:07:52 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> On Saturday morning, a helicopter, which was on its way from Badrinath to Haridwar with pilgrims crashed in Badrinath. The helicopter had eight people on board ? five passengers, two pilots and an engineer. An engineer was killed and two pilots suffered injuries, rest all five passengers were reportedly safe. An official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Delhi confirmed the news. Chamoli Superintendent of Police Tripti Bhatt said the engineer, Vikram Lamba, was hit by the rotor blades. The police officer informed that the helicopter lost its balance while taking off due to insufficient air pressure and fell down. The police officer further informed that,The Agusta 119 helicopter, belonged to Mumbai-based private operator Krestal Aviation, was on its way from Badrinath to Haridwar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

1 killed, pilots injured in helicopter accident in Badrinath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A crew member was killed and two pilots suffered injuries when a helicopter carrying pilgrims met with an accident while taking off from the Himalayan shrine of Badrinath in Uttarakhand today. All the five passengers were reportedly safe. An official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Delhi said that an engineer, who was part of the crew, died in the accident, while the two pilots suffered injuries. Chamoli Superintendent of Police Tripti Bhatt told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttarakhand: Engineer killed, pilots injured in chopper crash in Badrinath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A helicopter carrying pilgrims crashed soon after take-off from the Himalayan shrine of Badrinath in Uttarakhand on Saturday, killing a crew member and injuring two pilots.All the five passengers were reportedly safe.An official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in Delhi said that an engineer, who was part of the crew, died in the mishap while the two pilots suffered injuries.Chamoli Superintendent of Police Tripti Bhatt told PTI on the phone that the engineer was hit by rotor blades.The Agusta 119 helicopter, belonging to Mumbai-based private operator Krestal Aviation, met with an accident just after take-off around 07:45 hrs, the DGCA official said.The helicopter was on its way from Badrinath to Haridwar.

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