The government is in the process of providing air connectivity to remote and interior areas of the country, including the North East and Tier II and Tier III cities, minister of civil aviation Ajit Singh has said.
Addressing members of the consultative committee attached to his ministry, in Bangalore today, Singh said the new policy instrument in the form of `Route Dispersal Guidelines' is under consideration.
The plan includes creation of an Essential Air Services Fund (EASF) for providing direct subsidy to encourage domestic airlines to fly on these remote and interior routes.
He said the civil aviation ministry is also in the process of enhancing the present operations of helicopters and construction of heliports at various places to improve the connectivity of smaller places, including places of religious and tourist importance, with bigger cities.
The ministry would also soon modify guidelines for acquisition of aircraft so that Indian carriers become bound to acquire smaller aircrafts needed for providing connectivity to these smaller cities, he added.
Singh also underlined the need to develop India as an international hub for air transport and said that the ministry of civil aviation has initiated action in this regard, which includes revisiting the policy regarding bilateral air service agreements with different countries and also rationalisation of all bilaterals and traffic entitlements on international routes to Indian carriers as also rationalisation of traffic on domestic routes.
The ministry is also contemplating an effective, autonomous and professionally competent regulatory framework for the aviation industry, he added.