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Upgradation of Vijayawada Airport



Upgradation of Vijayawada Airport 
Development and upgradation of airports is a continuous process which is undertaken by Airports Authority of India (AAI) from time to time depending upon traffic demand, availability of land free from all encumbrances, commercial viability, technical feasibility, etc. Modification and expansion work of existing passenger terminal building to cater 250 peak hour passengers at Vijayawada Airport has been completed. Further, work for new interim domestic terminal building to handle 500 peak hour passengers at a time along with car park, new approach road, additional apron for parking 10 parking bays for A-320 type of aircrafts and associated facilities has also been awarded. 


Presently, Air India is providing direct air services between Delhi and Vijayawada on daily basis. Besides, direct air connectivity to other important cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad is also available through scheduled services by Air Costa, Alliance Air and Spicejet airlines to/from Vijayawada Airport. There are no direct air services between Mumbai and Vijayawada. The airlines are free to operate anywhere in the country subject to compliance of Route Dispersal Guidelines issued by the Government. However, it is up to airline operators to provide air services to specific places depending upon traffic demand and commercial viability.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 
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Modernisation of Chennai Airport 
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has completed the phase-I of modernization work at Chennai Airport has and created maximum additional capacity of 14 million passengers per annum (mppa) (Domestic 10 mppa and International 4 mppa) within the available land over & above the existing passenger handling capacity of 9 mppa.

AAI has taken steps for appointment of Consultant for Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study for obtaining Environment Clearance for the project and of Project Managment Consultant (PMC) for Phase-II modernization of Chennai Airport.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 
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Delay in Flight Services Due to Foggy Condition 


Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued instruction to all schedule domestic airlines to operate only Cat-III aircraft along with CAT III trained flight crew as per visibility condition/RVR (Runway Visual Range) during fog hours.

 To avoid delays and cancellation during low visibility, following decisions have been taken by DGCA for compliance by airlines.

- All airlines will have to ensure that aircraft deployed to/from Delhi during low visibility conditions are CAT-III compliant and both the commander and co-pilot are also CAT-III trained.
- Only CAT-III flight crew will operate the flights to/from Delhi in case weather predictions of CAT-III conditions are made by India Meteorological Department (IMD). Failing to do so, such operations of the defaulting airline will be stopped to/from Delhi during  low visibility conditions.
- Airlines must take adequate care of providing basic amenities of water and refreshment to passengers during such conditions if the flights are delayed.
- All stakeholders should have better communication procedure so that level of intrection with passengers increases during the fog and they are aware of flihgt delays.
- One representative each from DGCA and IMD will be positioned at Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC), Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) who will interact with airlines, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and DIAL. DIAL will organize conference on daily basis wherein fog forecast for the day and next day will be provided by IMD.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 

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Rationalisation of Airfares by Airlines 
Air fares are not fixed by the Government as they are determined by the airline based on interplay of market forces. Airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff under the provision of Sub rule (1) of Rule 135, Aircraft Rules 1937 having regard to all relevant factors, including the cost of operation, characteristic of service, reasonable profit and the generally prevailing tariff. Scheduled airlines offer different fare buckets for each flight. The airline pricing runs into multiple levels buckets or Reservation Booking Designator (RBD) which are in line with the practice followed globally.

However, in order to prevent excessive charging and sudden surges in airfares and to promote transparency by scheduled domestic airlines, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued Air Transport Circular 2 of 2010 wherein airlines are required to display on their respective websites the tariff sheet route-wise across their network in various fare categories and the manner it is offered in the market. The intention behind the above directions is to keep the passengers informed of pricing pattern of airlines.

DGCA has set up a Tariff Monitoring Unit in 2010 that monitors airfares on certain routes selected on random basis to ensure that the airlines do not charge airfares outside the range declared by them. The random analysis has shown that the airfares remained well within the fare bucket uploaded by the airlines on the respective websites.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 
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Expansion of Jodhpur Airport 
Jodhpur airport is a Defence Airport where Airports Authority of India (AAI) maintains a civil enclave. AAI has formulated a plan for development of the Civil Enclave and Apron at Jodhpur airport for which allotment of 37 acres of land has been sought from Indian Air Force/State Government.

At present, Jet Airways is operating flights on Mumbai-Jodhpur and Delhi-Jodhpur sector. Government has laid down Route Dispersal Guidelines with a view to achieve better regulation of air transport services taking into account the need for remote and regional areas of the country. However, airlines plan their flight schedule on a specific route/cities based on market demand, commercial viability and as per their company policy

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 
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High ATF Taxation at Metros 
The cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) constitutes about 40- 50% of operational expenses of an airline in India, hence it affects the viability of airlines. Government has taken various steps to rationalize the tax on ATF. This matter has been taken up with state governments. Some of the state governments have responded positively and reduced the rate of tax on ATF from 20-30% to 4-5%.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation had taken up the issue of inclusion of ATF in the category of 'Declared Goods' with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. This was deliberated upon by the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers wherein it was unanimously agreed by the states that ATF should not be notified as 'Declared Goods'.

As per present import policy, import of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) is permitted under State Trading Enterprises (STEs) regime. However, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has permitted Spicejet Ltd, Interglobe Aviation Ltd, Go Airlines Ltd and Air India to directly import ATF on actual user basis under Para 2.11 of Foreign Trade Policy.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. 


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