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India's first National Civil Aviation Policy


The Indian government has approved the country’s first National Civil Aviation Policy for increasing air
connectivity, allowing new domestic airlines to fly abroad quickly and opening up the skies for European
and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.

New airlines will no longer have to wait for five years before starting operations on international routes.
Start-up airlines can now fly abroad after operating at least 20 planes or 20 per cent of their total flying
capacity, whichever is higher, on domestic routes.

“Connecting the unconnected and serving the un-served is the motto of the civil aviation policy. The
questionable legacy of the ‘5/20 rule’ has been thrown into the dustbin today,” Information Technology
and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said .

India will have an open-sky policy for countries beyond the 5,000-km radius from Delhi on a reciprocal
basis. This means that airlines from European or Saarc countries will have unlimited access, in terms of
number of flights and seats, to Indian airports, leading to increased flight frequencies with these

While India has full open-sky with U.S., it has a near open-sky agreement with the U.K. with a
restriction on the frequency of flights to and from Mumbai and Delhi.

As a part of its regional connectivity scheme, passengers will be charged Rs. 2,500 for an hour’s flight
on regional routes by the airlines. The government will provide financial support to fund airlines’ losses
on such un-served routes.

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