Ministry of Civil Aviation Holds Crucial Consultations with Stakeholders of the Regional Connectivity Scheme

Friday, July 29, 2016

New Delhi: Senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, held broad and in-depth consultations regarding the Draft Regional Connectivity Scheme with the Stakeholders of the new Scheme in the capital today. The key issues discussed during the deliberations were as follows:

1. Bidding Parameter to be considered while inviting proposals for interested airlines operations under the Scheme.

2. Exclusivity to be granted to Selected Airline Operators for Operations under the Scheme.

3. Airfare Caps proposed under the Scheme

4. VGF Caps and PLF based tapering of VGF proposed under the Scheme

5. Minimum Performance Specifications to be adhered to by Selected Airline Operator

6. Provisions enabling easy entry and exist

7. RCS applicability

8. Overall implementability of RCS

Representatives of State Governments expressed their willingness to cooperate in giving support to Airlines to operate from airports within their States. However, States from the North East wanted the Centre to give 100 % financial assistance to the Scheme.

Representatives from Airlines wanted assistance under the Scheme to be extended beyond period of three years. Some Stakeholders also wanted flexibility with regard to the distance stipulated in the Draft . They wanted the minimum distance of 200 Km and maximum distance of 600 Km to be decided on a case to case basis.

Speaking to media persons, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri Jayant Sinha said that the Regional Connectivity Scheme is in pursuance of the Government’s objective of taking development and infrastructural facilities to the common man in all parts of the country. Also while addressing the media, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Shri R.N. Choubey said that, the Ministry had come with an open mind and will try to address the concerns of the various Stakeholders wherever possible. He was hopeful that the Regional Connectivity Scheme should take final shape by mid August.

The primary objective of the Regional Connectivity Scheme is to facilitate and stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable. The Scheme proposes (1) concessions by Central & State Governments and airport operators and (2) fiscal (viabilility gap funding or VGF) support to promote affordability of regional air connectivity.

Apart from senior officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation the meet was attended by the following Stakeholders.

1. Ministers and senior officers from the State Governments/UTs

2. Airport Operators

3. National airlines

4. Regional Airlines and Non-schedules operators

5. Airline Associations

6. Helicopter operators and their association including Pawan Hans, RWSI

7. Aircraft Manufactures

8. Regulatory agencies like DGCA, AERA, BCAS

9. Industry associations