The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has disbanded the Aircraft Acquisition Committee as it was under the pressure from the airline industry and in the face of criticism about delays in inducting new aircraft. The six-member AAC, headed by the Additional Secretary in the Ministry, was vested with the power of clearing aircraft purchases for existing airlines as well as deciding on proposals for those wanting to enter the domestic industry.
The newly constituted AAC was set up on October 31 last year. Now, aircraft import requests will be processed administratively by the Ministry. A request for aircraft import is likely to be denied only on grounds of safety and other regulatory compliance, Ministry sources said.
The move is expected to facilitate setting up of new airlines and import of aircraft by airlines, private aircraft operators and institutes that offer flying training.
The AAC has been mired in controversy with allegations early this year that it was delaying the import of aircraft that which domestic airlines like IndiGo planned to induct. The move could facilitate starting of operations by airlines like AirAsia, which has tied up with Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace.
The joint-venture company will still have to approach the Ministry of Civil Aviation for an initial No-Objection Certificate for starting an airline.