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A lot is being written on how Modi Government has performed on various fronts during its first year in the office. The approach, shown by most analysts, of giving marks out of perfect 10, is quite baffling. This has not really been an examination where there are set questions and sampled answers to do grading in that manner. If one really looks at the dynamics of running a government in a vibrantly democratic country like India, the grading system holds no relevance. It really becomes the question of doing the best under the circumstances. I, therefore, would like to look at 'doing best under the circumstances' so far as General & Business Aviation (GA/BA) industry in India is concerned.

With BizAvIndia promoting growth of the business aviation industry in such an exponential manner, it is only fair to give it the importance it deserves

In 2011, the Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA), came into being and soon the nascent organisation realised that "opinion management" was a fundamental role of the association. Since its initiation, the association...

By following a difficult, stern and archaic regulatory and tax regime, the government is only discouraging industrialists from owning these resources by laying out a series of hurdles for their operation...

Government and public's misconception of Business Aviation being an ideogram of luxury is certainly ill founded because business leaders of India who own their own private jets frequently choose to travel by scheduled airlines. This misconception has also been responsible for the current woes of the Business Aviation industry as its rightful and just demands are often met with an ill-conceived phrase 'Business Aviation is for the elite, so it deserves to be taxed"...

Many of the aircraft in India are already capable of using GAGAN and some OEMs have offered to carry out updates for GAGAN compatibility, without cost

The recently issued revised draft National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2015) envisages wide use of indigenously developed GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) in the coming years, which would enable GA/BA aircraft make Cat I approaches at most of the under-served/un-served small airfields, located in remote areas of the country. The launch of GAGAN, this year, puts India among the list of four elite nations in the world to use satellite-based navigation system.

The Draft does mention government's goal to provide level playing field to aviation subsectors, including GA/BA. However, it has missed out on some very key issues that have plagued the industry for over two decades now.

The much-awaited draft national Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2015) was placed in public domain on October 30, 2015. It is aimed to state government's vision on growth of aviation sector in India for the next 10 years. In the coming weeks, the pros and cons of this draft policy would be keenly discussed amongst the stakeholders. Civil Aviation Ministry aims to come out with the final NCAP 2015 by the end of this year, after incorporating feedback from all stakeholders.

There is a definite and strong link between world's two-thirds of BA/GA aircraft being based in North America and the United States remaining the elite economic power.

A lot has been written about the direct and indirect contribution of business aviation (BA) to the economy of a nation. The direct impact of any business activity, to create employment, is beyond doubt and its indirect contribution to allied sectors would be a natural consequence.

"This is one of the most traumatic experiences that I have undergone, and I have sworn that I will never make this mistake again."

Nothing is more traumatic for a potential aircraft operator than going through the process of regulatory nightmare of first acquiring and then getting clearances to operate an aircraft in India. The process can take anything from 12-18 months, from the time you decide to buy an aircraft or helicopter, till the time you actually start flying one. This is not for the weak hearted. In fact, the process probably would make a good case study in one of the IIMs or the Harvard Business School, to bring out why the mission of 'Ease of Doing Business' in India, especially in the aviation industry, will never succeed, unless a thorough review of the entire process is carried out and streamlined.

While addressing some major issues on different areas of the industry, the draft policy does fall short on some key aspects, which need to be addressed before the final policy is made effective.

The Draft NCAP 2015, released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is a step in the right direction to create an enabling environment for the growth of the industry. While addressing some major issues on different areas of the industry, the draft policy does fall short on some key aspects, which need to be addressed before the final policy is made effective.

One more year for the hype of the Union Budget and the one more year of disappointment for the Aviation Industry! So what's new?

The Aviation industry in general and the General & Business Aviation (GA/BA) industry in particular, stands disappointed with the Union Budget of 2015, with no direct or indirect mention for the sector...