Safety and security were “paramount” in the aviation sector and the civil aviation ministry had instituted a “very ambitious and aggressive” annual surveillance plan (ASP) of 3,709 checks for 2022-23, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said in Pune on Friday.
The civil aviation minister was replying to queries from the media on recent multiple incidents of technical snags involving aircraft.
“Safety and security were paramount. The primary responsibility (of aircraft safety) is with the airline and also with the regulator. The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) and the civil aviation ministry lay complete stress on safety and security,” he said.
“In 2019-20, the DGCA’s ASP resulted in 2,275 checks being conducted across all aspects of civil aviation. During COVID-19, there was not much civil aviation activity. This year (2022-23), we have instituted a very ambitious and aggressive ASP of 3,709 checks. By the end of July, we have completed 1,862 checks,” Mr Scindia informed.
Stressing on an occurrence-free environment in the key sector, he said some incidents, that may be related to the engineering side, are in the control of the airline, while some are not, like bird hits and bad weather.
The Union minister informed that Value Added Tax (VAT) on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was 4 per cent, except in Mumbai and Pune, where it was 25 per cent.
“I had requested then-Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to bring down VAT on ATF to 1 per cent, but there was no progress. I will now request chief minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis to bring down VAT as soon as possible,” Mr Scindia said.
Chief Ministers of 16 states, where VAT on ATF was between 21 per cent and 30 per cent one year ago, had reduced it to 1 to 4 per cent, and it is expected that remaining states would also follow suit, he said.
The minister was speaking on the sidelines of an event organised by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA).
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