Independence Day
     

BAOA constantly making efforts to get the GA/BA industry at its rightful place

Come together as one voice in order to ensure that the issues being taken up by BAOA are received in the correct perspective, BAOA President urges members.

July 24, 2020 By Ayushee Chaudhary Photo(s): By Bombardier
BAOA IS MAKING CONSTANT EFFORTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE THE BUSINESS AVIATION INDUSTRY IS BACK IN ACTION DESPITE THE PANDEMIC EFFECTS.

One has to keep one’s reserve despite the difficulties. One cannot loose one's patience or even the oversight which one has to take and somehow it’s the question of survival. “Those who were the fittest are going to survive, those who do not take adequate measures, needless to say may not be able to survive this kind of most difficult situation. My request to everyone is to generate enough josh within their organisations to do things by which humankind is known to overcome any kind of difficulties and at the end they come victorious,” said AVM S.S. Chauhan (Retd.), President, Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA) during his welcome address at the 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of BAOA held virtually on June 30, 2020.

He further added, “Everyone is quite aware about the difficult times which this COVID-19 has presented to all sectors of society and the aviation sector has not been left untouched. The pain that everyone has gone through is very well felt by all more so by the members of business aircraft operators association,”

“Our minds are always working to find ways and means of how to overcome a difficult situation. We have presented a lot of cases to the government as & when there was possibility. Group Captain Bali has been taking very active interest with MoCAas well as DGCA and other organisations like FICCI along with other governing members but unfortunately the results have not come in good measure. However, somethings have been achieved and I want to assure everyone, BAOA's job is to continue pressing till more and more results are achieved,” said AVM S.S. Chauhan (Retd.), President, BAOA.

Stressing on the continuous efforts being made by BAOA, he also stated, “Our minds are always working to find ways and means of how to overcome a difficult situation. We have presented a lot of cases to the government as & when there was possibility. Group Captain Bali has been taking very active interest with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) as well as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and other organisations like FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) along with other governing members but unfortunately the results have not come in good measure for the efforts that have been made. However, somethings have been achieved and I want to assure everyone, BAOA's job is to continue pressing till more and more results are achieved.”

Group Captain Rajesh K. Bali (Retd.), Managing Director, BAOA presented the annual review by giving a brief history of BAOA being incorporated on March 31 2011 with 11 founding members and today has a total of 72 members (including 40 corporate members, 24 associate (Indian) and 8 Associate (Foreign).

Group Capt. Bali highlighted about DGCA’s recent initiative to allow ‘distance learning by established training institutions'; many trainings for which we were going abroad can be done here now.

He highlighted about DGCA’s recent initiative to allow ‘distance learning by established training institutions'; many trainings for which we were going abroad can be done here now. Some consolidated issues taken up by BAOA with MoCApost partial lifting of the lockdown included the following:

  • Bring ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) within ambit of GST (Goods & Services Tax)
  • Rationalisation of GST to (Zero), (5) & (5/12%), for (‘spare parts’)/ (‘import of ac’) & (economy/businessclass services’)respectively.
  • Completely abolish all types of royalties on aeronautical services ('maintenance services at an operational airport','GH charges','helicopter charters in pilgrims' & any fuel services)
  • Inter-ministerial issues, like AOR/ 'Taxation', to be taken up at the level of minister for expeditious action.
  • Focused drive at MOCA to ensure optimal growth of NSOP/GA industry, which is nursery for airlines in every nation.This would ultimately help to further promote UDAN scheme and operationalise many smaller airfields in India, ideal for use by smaller aircraft. Unutilised/Underutilised old airports at Begumpet/Juhu/Bengaluru should be immediately openedup to becomealternateairports for NSOP/GAflights.
  • Monthly meeting, in MoCA, with all aviation industry stakeholders to be resumed without delay, while separate monthly meetings at DGCA, with (Non Scheduled Operators) NSOP/GA (General Aviation) operators, to be continued and monitored by Joint Secretary in charge of NSOP/GA at MoCA.
  • e-GCA to be implemented by December 2020. This was due to be implemented by December 2018.
  • The recent initiative by DGCA to allow ' distance learning by established training institutions', after duly following a transparent process of approving for each type of aircraft/training is very encouraging and needs to be implemented forthwith.
  • 'Simulator Recurrent Training' also to begin this year. Pilots due for this training be permitted to undergo the same in accordance with respective CAR on aircraft, as DGCA has already permitted recurrent training in India in those cases where Sims are not available. Most Simulators are located in US/Europe, where pilots won't be able to go in the near future.
  • Current OC (Operations Circular) of 2020 and DGCA order dated May 11, 2020 and other orders pertaining to various extension granted during COVID-19 maybe further extended till September 30, 2020.

President Chauhan also urged the members present, to join in as one voice to make the point felt whether it is through written communications, meetings or even through the media. “One cannot let the issues go haywire. They have to be seen in a concentrated manner and I request all members of BAOA whether they are corporate or asset to put their full effort and support the active members of BAOA so that they can take up the issues in the right perspective,” he said.

BAOA has also fought for cabin crew requirements to be aligned with international standards and have no cabin crew below 20. This is now again being reopened so that it can be made optional. Inter-ministerial issues like AOR which is applicable only to NSOP, not to airlines and taxation issues have been taken up aggressively after the pandemic.

Stating about the significant priority being given to helicopter operations, Group Capt. Bali presented some of the following GA/BA issues identified:

  • BAOA's monthly meeting in DGCA to discuss NSOP/GA/BA issues.
  • An ecosystem for GA infrastructure planning to be put into place at all new projects.
  • Specific emphasis on issues relating to helicopter operations.
  • Specific attention to Private (GA) issues.
  • Treatment of aircraft maintenance hangars as aeronautical services.
  • Group Handling Charges at major airports as per AERA Act and SSA.
  • Abolish all types of royalty/revenue share on aero services.
  • Rationalisation of import duty on NSOP aircraft.
  • Waiver of AOR requirement for GA/BA industry at civil enclaves- this is one major issue I had taken up with the minister when I had met him in March.
  • Align any retro-fitment with (International Civil Aviation Organisation) ICAO's SARPs, cost-effectiveness & safety to be balanced.
  • EDTO limits (Threshold limit) for NSOP to align with best global practices (90 to 120 min).
  • Relaxation ofcabin crewrequirement for < 20 pax capacity.
  • Align Training & Licensing rules with global best practices.
  • Endorsement of P1, post sim training for ac < 5700 kgs.
  • Separate FDTL CAR for NSOP/GA, this has been discussed and we are awaiting final issue.
  • CAR on Ground TrainingOrganisation (GTO) specific to NSOP/GA industry.

While mentioning about the treatment of aircraft maintenance hangars as aeronautical services, Group Capt. Bali added, “I want to just highlight over here that we are talking of aircraft maintenance hangars which are part of an operational base, we are not talking about standalone hangars which are basically known as MRO hangars where aircraft goes for maintenance.” Regarding the group handling charges at major airports as per AERA Act and SSA, he underlined that the issue has been taken up consistently and multiple times but with limited success.

BAOA has also fought for cabin crew requirements to be aligned with international standards and have no cabin crew below 20. This is now again being reopened so that it can be made optional. Inter-ministerial issues like AOR which is applicable only to NSOP, not to airlines and taxation issues have been taken up aggressively after the pandemic.

“Now we are telling MoCA to ensure the growth of NSOP/GA industry as that will also help their own UDAN scheme which they so ambitiously launched about 3 years back and has only achieved about 50% success. It willbe faster and more successful with the involvement of NSOP/GA,” added Group Capt. ensuring that the robust industry of GA/BA will get its rightful place in our developing country.