Tag Archives: Ashok Gajapathi Raju

IndiGo adds flights to Tirupati network

IndiGo has added another flight to its Tirupati network. Tirupati will be connected by three daily non-stop flights to Hyderabad and double daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru. Minister of Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo flagged-off the second flight from Tirupati to Hyderabad at Tirupati International Airport. Apart from this, Tirupati will also be connected to many new cities on IndiGo’s existing network of Airbus 320s and ATRs. IndiGo will connect Tirupati to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai, Singapore among other cities via Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mangalore.

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World Economic Forum recommends national tourism board for India

The World Economic Forum’s white paper on India’s tourism industry outlines the country’s $20 billion tourism opportunity that lies untapped. One of its recommendations is the formation of a tourism board. According to the White Paper titled ‘Incredible India 2.0 India’s $20 Billion Tourism Opportunity,’ a proposal to create a tourism board is put forward. It says, ‘India has more than 50 active foreign tourism boards, yet the country does not have its own tourism board. While it has a number of industry associations and state-level bodies, no public-private organisation represents the industry, and these bodies work independently to drive forward their own agenda. The industry is fragmented and hindered by poor coordination between the state and central government as well as within the central government itself. No single ministry is responsible for all the policies affecting the aviation, travel and tourism industry. The Ministries of Civil Aviation, Tourism, Home Affairs, Culture, and Road Transport and Highways, among others, have all been actively involved in the industry’s policies.’ The paper released in September this year goes on to add that this gap must be filled by bringing the public and private sectors together under an empowered and proactive body. ‘To fuel its success, the board would consider the structure, objectives and best practices implemented in other countries, keeping in mind India’s strengths and limitations.’ Speaking on the scope of implementation that this White Paper has, Tiffany Misrahi, Community Lead, Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum, says, “The Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju, as well as Minister of State Jayant Sinha, along with the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, have been actively involved in …

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Upgraded Belagavi Airport inaugurated in Karnataka

New and upgraded Belagavi Airport has been inaugurated by P. Ashok GajapathiRaju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister, Karnataka. Belagavi is the second capital of Govt. of Karnataka and is 502 km from Bengaluru and 200 km from Goa Airport. The city is one of the 20 cities selected in the first phase, for development as a smart city under the Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission. The New Terminal, a centrally air-conditioned building, with an area of 3,600 sqm has a capacity to handle 300 peak hour passengers at a time. It has all essential passenger friendly amenities and conveniences and is provided with CUTE-enabled Check-in Counters, Baggage Conveyors, Elevator, Public Address System, Fire Fighting & Fire Alarm System, Flight Information Display System (FIDS), CCTV, Baggage scanners and Car parking etc. Inaugurating the terminal Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation said, “Belagavi is an important City in the state of Karnataka. With the Upgraded Airport, the City is all set to cater to more air passengers from the region. Since Belagavi is amongst the first 20 cities being transformed into Smart Cities, this was a much needed development.” Other dignitaries present for the occasion include Ananth Kumar, Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs; R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, Govt. of Karnataka; D.K. Shivakumar, Minister of Energy and Power, Government of Karnataka, Ramesh L. Jarakiholi, Minister for Co-operation and Belagavi District Incharge Minister; Suresh C. Angadi, Member of Parliament (LokSabha); Dr. Prabhakar Kore, Member of Parliament (RajyaSabha); Sanjay B. Patil, Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Sanjyot Bandekar, Mayor, Belagavi City Corporation as the guests of honour.

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Over 350 delegates @ MoCA’s 1st WINGS 2017

Ministry of Civil Aviation, hosted the first edition of WINGS 2017 – ‘Sab Uden, Sab Juden”- Expanding Regional Connectivity in New Delhi.  The plenary session was chaired by  P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation.  Around 338 delegates from the government and civil aviation sector participated in the event which included key stakeholders from all states, tourism departments and tour operators. The stakeholders interacted amongst themselves in 112 one to one discussions (G2B meetings) with the airlines operators in an attempt to showcase their destinations and routes as viable business market for the airlines. They represented airline consumers to facilitate interaction with various airlines, airport operators, cargo operators and other ecosystem players at a common forum. Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation;Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, MoCA; B S Bhullar, Director General of Civil Aviation; Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India; Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Pratyush Kumar, Chairman, FICCI National Aviation Committee also attended the sessions. 19 states made presentations emphasising the incentives or special packages to the airlines other than the support offered by Government of India under RCS- UDAN. The closed-door event entailed incentives to the airlines operators such as underwriting of seats, reducing the tax on ATF, additional VGF, night parking, concessional electricity and water charges, infrastructural support etc. and routes and airport wise benefits. This event proved to be an ideal platform for states to project themselves as a viable aviation market and showcasing the strength and opportunities in the aviation sector to the potential airlines.

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MoCA drafts CAR to handle unruly, disruptive passengers

Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation, and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, have informed that they are revising the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on ‘Handling of unruly/disruptive passengers’. They said that the CAR is being worked on to enhance the safety and security  of passengers, crew as well as airlines. R.N. Choubey, Secretary for Civil Aviation, gave details of the draft CAR and revealed that CAR defines three levels of unruly behaviours viz. Level 1 – disruptive behaviour, Level 2 – physically abusive behaviour and Level 3 – Life- threatening behaviour. Under CAR, the Airlines will maintain a database of such passengers which will form a National  No-fly List of unruly/disruptive passengers.  Individuals identified by MHA as national security threats will also form part of the National No-Fly List. Such names will be forwarded to the individuals by the airlines indicating the reasons for inclusion of their names in the National NO-Fly List.  For passengers indicated in the National No-Fly List, airlines will have option to bar the unruly passenger from taking flights to/form/within India for a period ranging from 03 months to a maximum of two years depending upon level of unruly behaviour.  For every subsequent offence, the person will be banned for twice the period of previous ban. He also informed that CAR provides for two tiers of complaint handling mechanism in such cases, viz. initial inquiry at airlines level by an internal committee headed by a retired District & Sessions Judge and an appeal at Govt. headed by Retired Judge of a High Court of India.  The Secretary informed that other airlines as well as international airlines were free to take cognisance of No …

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5 airlines win bids under RCS

SpiceJet, Alliance Air, and three other airlines have emerged winner in the first round of bidding and 43 airports in India are set to get flights under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, revealed Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, Govt. of India. Apart from SpiceJet and Alliance Air, the other three airlines awaiting license include Air Deccan, Air Odisha and Turbo Megha. Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, will issue Letter of Awards for 27 proposals received under RCS-UDAN. A total of 13 unserved airports will get flights under the scheme, and the total viability gap funding that the government will provide will be around Rs. 200 crore. Raju also said that the total seats on these routes will be around 13 lakh and the scheme will be active in the next 4-6 months.

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India and Fiji renew air services agreement after four decades

A new Air Services Agreement (ASA) has been signed between India and Fiji, replacing the previous ASA, which was signed between the two governments in 1974. The agreement was signed between Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, Government of India and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of Fiji. This new ASA has been negotiated to meet the conditions that exist now and will exist in the foreseeable future. According to Khaiyum, the new ASA will spur economic growth and create opportunities for trade, investment and tourism. Under the ASA and to ensure ease of travel between the two countries, Fiji Airways has already signed a code-share agreement with Jet Airways of India to allow seamless travel between Fiji and a number of Indian cities. He said, “This new agreement is good for both countries. We want to thank India’s Hon. Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and the entire Indian government for their good faith, goodwill and respectful posture throughout these negotiations. Although Fiji is economically and geographically much smaller than India, we were at the table as equals.” Fiji is now in the process of reviewing and updating its ASA with other countries, with the goal of increasing the scope and quality of economic activity and connectivity while at the same time protecting the Fijian aviation industry.

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MoCA signs MoU with Maharashtra and AAI on Regional Connectivity

The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, Maharashtra Government, and Airports Authority of India have signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), kicking off the collaborative process for the successful launch of the Regional Connectivity Scheme. The MoU was signed in Mumbai in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. With this MoU, the State Government of Maharashtra has formally agreed to provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme, thereby becoming the first state in the country to do so. The agreement was signed by Chairman, Airports Authority of India, Principal Secretary Civil Aviation (Maharashtra) and Joint Secretary (Ministry of Civil Aviation). Earlier during the day, Raju and Fadnavis discussed various other aviation related issues in the State of Maharashtra at length. The meeting was attended by R. N. Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Swadheen Kshatriya, Chief Secretary of the State and other officials. Amongst others, the subject of rehabilitation of slums (that have come up right next to the Mumbai International Airport) was deliberated upon in details.  Early operationlisation of several available airports and airstrips in the State (like Shirdi, Kolhapur, Nasik, Sholapur etc) also figured prominently in the discussions. Later, Raju undertook an aerial survey of the proposed airport site for Navi Mumbai and took a status briefing from the officers concerned. He laid emphasis on timely completion of the project and conveyed that this can be achieved only if timelines for all sub-activities are adhered to. Raju conveyed that he will be undertaking similar visits to several other states across the country to promote the Regional Connectivity Scheme and discuss other related issues …

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Ministry asks AI to use best IT practices

The Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju held a meeting on July 11 to review the functioning of Air India, where he advised the national carrier to use the best IT practices to bring efficiency in the airline. During a presentation made by Air India, the Ashwini Lohani, CMD, Air India, explained the initiatives taken recently and the various challenges that the airline was facing in the domestic and international market. Aspects about the performance of Air India in comparison with other domestic airlines and the industry as a whole were analysed. Strategies for improvement of various parameters were also looked at. The Minister reviewed the status of monetisation by Air India so far and the hurdles if any. He keenly sought information on operationalisation of MRO for advanced aircrafts at Nagpur and Hyderabad. The Minister reviewed Air India’s strategy to increase its market share of the domestic and international market as well as improve its financial performance by reducing losses in any segment of the company. The Minister promised Air India that the Ministry on its part would look into their demands and will provide all possible support.

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Minister asks airports to go green

The Civil Aviation Ministry is all set for a green makeover and has thus planned 146 MW of solar-power generation at airports, with 30 MW already in the pipeline. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, has reviewed the progress of energy and water conservation measures at Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports across the country. The important review meeting was attended by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation and Secretary of the Department, besides Chairperson AAI and other senior officers. Airport Directors of 12 important airports also attended the deliberations so that they could be sensitized to implement these initiatives at their respective airports. AAI has already installed solar power plants at 16 airports with a total capacity of 5.4 MW. So far, 51 lakh energy units have been generated from these plants leading to a reduction of 4,600 metric tonnes in carbon emissions. By December 2016, additional 24.1 MW of solar power plants will become operational at 11 more airports. Infact, the perspective plan of AAI targets augmenting the solar power generation to 116 MW by including 16 more airports. During the meeting, the Airport Director, Jaipur dwelled at length on the energy conservation measures recently undertaken at the airport. These include maximum use of LED lighting, installation of efficient air-conditioning equipment, provision of energy efficient pumps and motors, a roof top solar power plant of 1 MW capacity and a 1.8 MW ground-based solar power plant under implementation. All Airport directors were encouraged to adopt similar initiatives, some of which have a payback period of as low as two years. The status and scope of water conservation, water-recycling and sewage treatment plants at the airports …

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