The civil aviation sector in India seems to be coming out of the rough patch, with air traffic and airlines registering growth once again, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said.

While self-regulation by airlines to meet the severe financial crunch has led to reduction in capacity in the market, airlines and air traffic were “registering growth once again” and more new flights are expected to start soon, he said at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation here.

With the government recently clearing separate air corridors for helicopters in Mumbai and Delhi, Patel announced that the Standard Operation Procedure for helicopter operations would be notified by March 15.

When the members raised the issue of financial problems being faced by Air India, the Minister assured them that the government was committed to ensure that the national carrier does well and turns around.

He said a detailed presentation would be made to them on Air India’s problems and the plans to turn it around.

Patel said the aviation industry had gone through a critical phase in the past two years and briefed the Committee on the government’s policies to help the sector.

Members, while appreciating modernisation and upgrade of airports across the country, raised various issues, including growth of cargo operations, shortage of air traffic controllers, connectivity to remote areas, Development Fees at airports and the use of body scanners.

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