ISLAMABAD: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has finalised the National Aviation Policy 2019, after consultation with all stakeholders. Final approval for the policy will be given by the federal cabinet.
According to civil aviation officials, in the new policy, more facilities have been offered to airlines so that better business opportunities can be provided to national air carriers.
According to sources, it has been suggested to abolish CAA charges on domestic flights and reduce charges on international flights by 25%. It has also been suggested on the demand of stakeholders to increase the age limit of airplanes acquired on lease from 12 to 18 years.
The stakeholders have been told that more than 12-year-old airplanes can only be used when their flying hours are below the ceiling. It has also been suggested that cargo planes having 35% or more age left will be permitted for use and a ban will be imposed on the use of such cargo planes that have lesser life left.
Regarding international investment, it has been decided not to change the shareholding set in the previous policy. According to sources, the decision to maintain the previous condition was taken due to the reservations expressed by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Airblue and Serene Airlines. According to the condition, international airlines will be permitted to do business in Pakistan only with 49% shareholding.
The new policy draft also proposed an increase in the validity period of a regular public transport licence for an airline from one year to two years while the validity period for licences for cockpit and cabin crew will be raised from one year to five years.
According to sources, in a bid to boost tourism, the government has started pondering over the issuance of a new licence and in this regard a new category of tourism promotion and integration licence will be introduced in the national aviation policy.
In the new policy, as per the prime minister’s vision, a clean and green programme has been included. In this regard, in all new projects of CAA, tree plantation will be mandatory.
Further facilities are being given to new airlines in starting their operations in the country in which the air carriers, general aviation operators and cleanliness staff will get special allowances, which are part of the CAA’s policy draft.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2019.