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  • Rajya Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020

    Published on September 15, 2020

    Parliament has passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today. The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. It  seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934.  It has provisions to convert three existing bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies. These three authorities are, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau. Under the bill, each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General who will be appointed by the centre.
    Replying to a discussion on the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said privatization will help in the development of the airports in the country. Giving the successful privatization process of Delhi and Mumbai airports, he said, privatization of these airports have garnered 29 thousand crore rupees which were spent on the development of other airports in the country.
    On the air safety issue, the Minister said, this government will not compromise on it  and India is doing well on the several parameters set by the air safety regulators. Appreciating the life line Udaan and Vande Bharat Scheme, he said, 16 lakh passengers were repatriated from the other countries. 
    Mr.  Puri said the legislation has given new definition to three bodies. He also said, the Bill raises the maximum limit on fines from 10 lakh rupees to one crore rupees. These fines are related to carrying arms, explosives and other dangerous goods aboard aircraft and constructing building or structures within the specified radius around an aerodrome reference point.
    Earlier, initiating the discussion, K.C. Venugopal of Congress questioned the government’s move to lease out the airports including Trivandrum and Jaipur airports. He accused the centre of favouring a particular company in this direction.
    Binoy Visvam of CPI also criticized the government on the issue. Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress said, Air India has played a vital role during the Vande Bharat Mission and plan for selling the airline should be reconsidered by the government. He urged the government to bring overall changes in the Aircraft Act, 1934.
    Prashanna Acharya of BJD said, strict regulations need to be adopted for the safety of aircraft and passengers. G V L Narshimha Rao of BJP said, the aviation sector has seen the transformational change in the recent time. He also lauded the Udaan Scheme saying that air prices have become cheaper and now common man can afford  air service.
    Vishmbhar Nishad of SP, P. Wilson of DMK, Vijayasai Reddy of YSR Congress, Manoj Jha of RJD, Praful Patel of NCP and  others also participated in the discussion.