Tag Archives: Jayant Sinha

Soon, travellers can enter Indian airports through facial recognition: MoCA

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu has released the policy on biometric-based digital processing of passengers at airports called Digi Yatra. He said that the Ministry has taken the initiative to ensure uniform implementation and passenger experience across Indian airports through a connected ecosystem. He said, a technical working committee with members from airport operators, airlines and industry, has been formed for development of standards. The DigiYatra Central Platform will be operational by end of February, 2019. Bangalore and Hyderabad International Airports will be ready with pilot implementation by end of February, 2019. Airport Authority of India (AAI) intends to roll out the programme initially at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada by April 2019. Elaborating on the contours of Digi Yatra, Minister of State of Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha said, “It is a facial recognition based passenger processing which is a common standard being adopted the world over to provide a seamless experience right from the entry to the airport upto boarding the aircraft. Under the Digi Yatra, passenger can get a Digi Yatra ID by sharing minimum details like name, e-mail ID, mobile number and details of one approved identity proof where Aadhar ID is not mandatory. This DigiYatra ID will be shared by passengers while booking ticket. Airlines will share the passenger data and DigiYatraID with the departure airport”, he said.

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Kannur airport to start operations from October 1

Commercial operations are all set to start from Kannur International Airport in Kerala from October 1, 2018. This was recently announced at a joint press conference by Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, along with KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation; as well as RN Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation. The officials shared that all the pending licences would be cleared before September 1 and the final aerodrome licence would also be given by that date. The airport will play a major role under the UDAN scheme of the government. Also, three domestic carriers will be operating international flights from this airport. Jet Airways will be flying to Abu Dhabi; Go Air would ply to Dammam and IndiGo will be flying to Doha from Kannur airport.

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Wide-bodied aircraft operations to restart at Calicut Airport

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, alongside KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C),  Tourism and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, has announced that operations of wide-bodied aircraft will be restarting from Calicut Airport in Kerala. Accordingly, DGCA has accepted the safety assessment and advised AAI for commencing operations of A330 and B-777 aircraft of Saudi Arabian Airlines with strict compliance with the mitigation measures to ensure safety operations. In future, any other airline may also start operations at the airport. With this move, a long standing demand of the people in Kerala as well as of the airline has been met. The minister also announced that in future, Calicut Airport could be used as an embarkation point for Haj operations too.

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India emerges as third largest domestic aviation market: MOCA

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has revealed its initiatives and achievements in the last four years at a press conference, where Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation, said that the aviation sector in India has reached new heights in the last four years. “In the last four years, we have thoroughly transformed the aviation sector and India has emerged as the third largest domestic aviation market. The connectivity has improved and flying has become affordable for every Indian. This started with the launch of Nationla Civil Aviation Policy in 2016, followed by the highly successful UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, under which air services have started at 30 additional airports. The airlines in the country have ordered 900 new aircraft under different categories. We are working to increase our system capacity threefold in the next 10-15 years through the NABH (Next Generation Airports for Bharat) Nirman capacity expansion programme. Apart from that we will release new Cargo Policy in the near future along with working on the Make-in-India and Drone Task Forces. We hope to take this sector to new heights.” Also present at the conference were Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation; RN Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, along with senior officials from Airport Authority of India (AAI); DGCA, Air India and Pawan Hans.

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Get ready for Wi-Fi and calls on domestic flights: MoCA

Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Draft Passenger Charter was discussed recently by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, along with RN Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, where Sinha revealed that both domestic and international airlines can provide internet as well as mobile services on-board and aircraft in Indian airspace, keeping in account security requirements for the same. According to the Passenger Charter, Wi-fi services can be provided from the moment the plane takes off  and personal electronic devices (PED) have to be put on flight mode. Also, mobile services can be allowed only when an aircraft is over an altitude of 3,000 metres. Choubey, explained that the licensing condition for Wi-Fi on board will be decided by the Telecom Ministry, and within 2 months passengers will be able to enjoy on-board internet when they travel.

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No charges on air ticket cancellation within 24 hours of booking

Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced the Draft Passenger Charter, which defines the rights of the passengers, under which Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, informed that there will be a lock-in period of 24 hours post booking for passenger, allowing them to cancel or amend the ticket without any charges. However, he said that this waiver will not be eligible for a ticket booked 96 hours (4 days) before the departure of the flight. It was also revealed that if the airline is at fault for any delays or cancellation, then under no circumstance the airline, or the OTA or agents who has booked the ticket, can levy cancellation charges which are more than the total of basic fare and fuel surcharge.

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Udan scheme to be extended to all underserved destinations

In a high level meeting held by K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, with Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Civil Aviation; Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation (MoCA), along with senior officials, it was decided that MoCA shall under-write any loss making route, if it is not already covered under Udan scheme. It was also decided that Udan scheme could be extended to all the under-served destinations at the earliest. During the meeting, Alphons requested for daily Air India flights to Khajuraho, better connectivity to Aurangabad for accessing Ajanta-Ellora, Triangular flight on Kochi-Goa-Jaipur sector, more international flights from Kozhikode, international flights to South East Asian countries from Guwahati Airport, commissioning of Kannur Airport, direct flights from Delhi to Kozhikode, daily flights from Kolkata to Shillong and more flights to Varanasi, direct flights from Ahmedabad and Kolkata to Srinagar and also opening the new airport in Sikkim. It was also requested that more flights be operated to Jindal Vijaynagar Airport to get better access to Hampi. MoCA assured immediate action in consultation with airline operators to provide better connectivity.

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Pakyong Airport in Sikkim gets license

Pakyong Airport in Sikkim has got licence for scheduled operations, paving way for direct connectivity to Sikkim, which will boost tourism and economic growth in the norteastern state. Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation Minister announced the development via Twitter. “The Pakyong (Gangtok) Airport at Sikkim got license on May 4, 2018 for scheduled operations. It is an engineering marvel at a height of more than 4,500 ft in a tough terrain. It will pave a way for direct connectivity to the state of Sikkim, giving boost to tourism & economic growth”, Prabhu said. Pakyong airport, 30-km from the state capital of Gangtok, will be the 100th operational airport when it begins operations, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said. Low-cost airline SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata under the Civil aviation Ministry’s regional connectivity scheme.

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MoCA to upgrade infrastructure at Lucknow, Chennai & Guwahati airports

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the investments for expansion and upgradation of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow airports by Airport Authority of India. Airports Authority of India has been assigned for the project with a total estimate of about Rs 5,000 crores to modernise, upgrade services, build new terminal buildings or upgrade the new terminals in Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati. Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation, made the announcement regarding the approval of the investment by Cabinet and assured that work for it would begin at the earliest.  

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MoCA looking at 20-min benchmark for immigration

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is looking at a benchmark of 20 minutes for passengers at immigration, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation while addressing a gathering at CAPA Conference in Mumbai via a video link. Speaking about the steps taken at the Delhi airport in response to the recent spike in international travel, Sinha pointed out, “We recently saw a dramatic spike of 30 per cent in international travel in the winter schedule, particularly at the Delhi airport. Mumbai did not grow as much due to slot constraints. But these are two airports where we are facing some congestion. In response to that, we along with the Ministry of Home Affairs acted swiftly by increasing capacity for immigration officers as well as immigration counters at the Delhi airport. In Mumbai however, we are much more constrained even though we have added capacity, although it is not at the same level as Delhi. We are thankful to Ministry of Home Affairs for acting so swiftly. Our benchmark as far as immigration is concerned is 20 minutes. If anyone has to wait more than that, then we are not doing our job well.”  

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