The Civil Aviation Ministry is likely to place a new legislation in the ongoing session of Parliament that will replace the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the present regulator, with a new autonomous regulatory body.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the Cabinet note on the creation of the new regulatory body — the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) — was being prepared . “The draft note has been sent to the Law and Justice Ministry for approval and after getting comments from all the Ministries it would be sent to the Cabinet for approval and thereafter tabled in Parliament during the second half of the budget session,” he added.
He said the need for setting up the CAA was felt as passenger and freight traffic, and aircraft movement had grown manifold during the past few years, but the strength of the DGCA had not gone up accordingly mainly due to the cumbersome recruitment process under the UPSC norms. “With full functional and financial autonomy, the proposed CAA would be able to recruit its own staff, decide on their pay structure and the powers to fix and collect fees for rendering services like safety oversight and surveillance of air navigation services.”
The Minister said the CAA would be self-financing and have a separate fund to finance its entire expenses. In addition, this fund will also get budgetary support. The CAA would come up at an estimated cost of Rs. 112 crore, Mr. Singh said. “The passengers would have to pay a negligible fee of around Rs. 5 per ticket. As the number of passengers travelling by air grows, the burden on them will come down,” he added in response to a question on how much the passengers will have to shell out to finance the operations of the new regulatory body.
The CAA would have a chairperson, a director general and seven to nine members, including five whole-time members. All of them will be appointed by the Centre on the recommendation of a Selection Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.