ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the aviation department to put up for approval the draft of National Aviation Policy 2019 in the next meeting of the federal cabinet. He gave the instructions after getting a detailed briefing on it from Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat in the presence of Federal Aviation Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro and officers of the PM Secretariat, aviation division and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The aviation secretary said that the policy draft had been developed in line with the PM’s vision and direction, including examination of the existing policy, making the CAA charges reasonable, and overall providing facilities to the aviation department.
He said that it was for the first time in the history of the country that the aviation policy had been formulated with the input of all relevant stakeholders. He added the draft was developed after prolonged consultations.
New aviation policy in the works: minister
He informed the PM Imran Khan that in a recently held examination meeting over the draft, which spanned over eight hours, representatives of airlines, general aviation operators, IATA and aircraft manufacturers reached consensus on the draft of the new policy.
Nusrat added that the purpose of the new policy is to provide protection and stable platform to the aviation department in line with international standard so that it can play its role in the economic development of the country.
Outlining the purposes of the new aviation policy, he said that promotion of tourism, increase in ease of business, reduction in cost of doing business, and improvement in facilities in areas with high tourist football are the objectives.
He informed that the duration of licence for business airlines and other operators was being extended from one year to two years, while the licence tenure of pilots and cabin crew was being extended from one year to five years. He added that was an important step towards providing facilities to those in the business of aviation.
CAA proposes to soften aviation policy
Referring to the reduction in the cost of business, the secretary aviation said that a recommendation to end the CAA charges on domestic flights was also included in the new policy. According to the new policy, a new type of license will be introduced known as tourism promotion and regional integration (TRPI), in which helicopter services are included. “The flights running under this license will be exempted from CAA charges,” he said.
Nusrat said airports of the CAA would be equipped with the facilities and luxuries that are expected at a global tourist destination. Discussing the fruits of the new policy, he said that the CAA will provide financial assistance of up to Rs0.4 million in lieu of training for women pilots.
Apart from this, with a reasonable decrease in the CAA charges, entry of new domestic airlines in the aviation sector will ensure reduction in travel fares while new opportunities for employment will also be ensured, he said.
Overall the new aviation policy draft is a reasonable and facilitator policy for operators, pilots, cabin crew and passengers and its positive impact will soon be felt by the country, he concluded.