The Civil Aviation Ministry has formed three advisory groups comprising airlines, airport operators, cargo carriers, ground handling companies, flying training organisations and maintenance, repair and overhaul companies to deliberate and resolve challenges faced by the sector, according to an official statement on Wednesday.
The aviation sector was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave that swept the nation in April and May. Many aviation stakeholders are not in a good financial shape currently. The ministry said on Twitter: “Under the chairmanship of the Honourable Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has formed three advisory groups comprising airlines, airport operators and MRO, cargo carriers, FTOs and ground handling companies.”
“The groups shall meet regularly to deliberate upon issues and resolve challenges facing each sector. Orders have been issued for the same,” it added. The first advisory group comprises chiefs of all major airlines in India — Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal, IndiGo Chairman Rahul Bhatia, SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh, Go First Director Ness Wadia, Vistara Chairman Bhaskar Bhat, AirAsia India CEO Sunil Bhaskaran, Alliance Air CEO Harpreet A De Singh.
According to the Aviation Ministry’s order on July 20, the first group would advise the government on issues such as safeguarding the viability of airlines, enhancing the domestic and international connectivity, promotion of passenger and cargo services, manpower skilling in the aviation sector and development of India as a hub for passenger travel, cargo and MRO services.
The second group comprises top officials of major Indian airport operators — Airports Authority of India Chairman Sanjeev Kumar, GMR Group Business Chairman G B S Raju, Adani Group Vice President Jeet Adani and Bangalore International Airport Limited Chief Executive Officer Hari K Marar.
Another Aviation Ministry’s order stated that the second group would advise the government on issues including enhancing the airport capacity, infrastructure augmentation and modernisation, increasing passenger facilities and amenities at airports and regulatory issues concerning airports.
The third advisory group would comprise of four sub-groups: one each on MRO, ground handling, cargo and FTO. Each of the sub-group would have four industry executives as members who work in that particular industry.
Scheduled domestic passenger traffic was suspended in India for about two months between March 25 and May 24 last year due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Since June 2020, the domestic traffic had been on a path of recovery when the second wave of the pandemic hit India during April and May this year.