The Ministry of Civil Aviation will not tolerate anything that compromises on air safety and standards, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. Minister was speaking at the 12th International Conference on Civil Aviation and Cargo, organised by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry) in New Delhi.
“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) knows its job. I do not know what the DGCA had been doing earlier, but as far as I am concerned, my instructions are simple that safety should not be compromised,” he said.
“They (DGCA) have to analyse each incident. Let us hope that these incidents that have been reported in the last few weeks do not happen in the future. I found out that there was only one recovery kit in the country and the civil aviation authorities have ordered two more,” he said.
Puri also said that the Ministry is evaluating the options for the disinvestment of the national carrier Air India. He pointed out that the budget has narrowed down two specific sectors for FDI in aviation – maintenance and repair, and leasing – although there were several areas of civil aviation allowed for 100% FDI. Minister is currently focusing on a 100-day program and a five-year vision document for housing and urban affairs, and civil aviation ministers.
Minister also observed that capping airfare can distort the system. “We are going at 17% let aside these four months that were affected adversely due to the non-operation of a scheduled large operator. We have more than recovered. The other system is operating the routes, and all the talks I hear about airfares shooting up is a false narrative. The airlines are bound by a system where they put on their websites the range of fares from the lowest to the highest,” Puri said.
The conference saw the participation from other major personalities, including Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet Limited; Narayana Rao, Chairman and Ankur Bhatia, Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council; Vineet Agarwal, Vice President; and Ashish Saraf, Head-Airbus Helicopters, India & South Asia.