Civil Enclave To Be Built In Jammu At A Cost Of Rs 861 Crore
In a major boost to aviation sector in the border state, a civil enclave will be built in Jammu at a cost of Rs 861 crore.
The present terminal in Srinagar will be expanded three times from 20,000 square metres to 60,000 square metres at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has said this while inaugurating the Fourth Heli-India Summit 2022 with the theme ‘Helicopters for last Mile Connectivity’ at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar.
Scindia said that the decrease in value added tax (VAT) on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from 26.5 per cent to 1 per cent by the J&K government has set a new dawn for air connectivity in the Union Territory with 360 per cent increase in refuelling, thus increasing the air connectivity to Jammu and Kashmir.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing a revolution in the civil aviation sector in India from 2014 onwards, Scindia said that from 1947 to 2014, the country had only 74 airports, but now the number has increased to 141, with 67 added in last seven years which shows the pace of progress in the sector.
The government is committed to increase the number to above 200 in the next few years, he added.
Scindia said that civil aviation has now become the need of the hour not only for India but for humankind across the world as it always brings with it two important multipliers, the economic multiplier and the employment multiplier.
The sector has a huge impact with an economic multiplier of 3.1 and employment multiplier of 6, the minister said.
Therefore, the civil aviation across the world today forms a very important cog of the wheel of economic development, he added.
Scindia said that helicopters have multifarious roles, providing urban connectivity which is no more an elitist prerogative in India but is based on Prime Minister Modi’s vision ‘Sab Ude, Sab Jude'.
The other roles of helicopter service have been the emergency medical services and disaster management during floods, rescue operations etc, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir has set an example of the best use of helicopter service when it erected transmission lines and towers using heli-cranes (sky cranes) on the Peer Panjal mountain range, the Minister added.
Scindia further said that the Civil Aviation Ministry not only organises summits but also monitors the progress of ‘sankalps’ taken from one summit to another.
During the Third Heli-India Summit at Dehradun, the eight sankalps taken like providing Heli-Sewa Portal, Heli-Disha, Helicopter Accelerator Cell, doing away with the landing and parking charges for helicopter service, creation of specific helicopter corridors, helipads to be given priority while framing DPR for all new highways, upgradation of Juhu airbase to accommodate night operations etc, were taken to their logical end.
Heli-Sewa portal is fully online and being used by all operators for obtaining landing permissions to helipads, and it also is creating a database of helipads in the country.
Heli-Disha, the guidance material on helicopter operations for State administration, has been distributed to 780 districts.
The Helicopter Accelerator Cell is fully active in resolving helicopter issues and the advisory group of industry representatives is helping identify problems areas.
“We have waived off landing and parking charges for helicopters at airports and we have started helicopter sensitisation training of ATC officers for speedier helicopter traffic handling,” said Scindia.
The minister informed that today the guidelines on fractional ownership model have been released to help grow the non-scheduled operations.
“While our scheduled operations are on the fast track and we have increased the fleet size from 400 aeroplanes in 2013 to more than 700 in 2021-22, through these guidelines, we should be able to spur growth in the non-scheduled fleet too.
"Fractional ownership will lower the barrier on the cost of acquisition of helicopters and aeroplanes through pooled capital by multiple owners. This will allow companies and individuals to minimise their capital outflow by sharing the purchase cost, reducing their exposure to risks and making it financially easier to run a NSOP business."
He further said fractional ownership model has the potential to energise the NSOP segment by democratising ownership of aircraft and it can be a key driver to boost the number of aircraft existing in the NSOP industry.
“The helicopter industry should be recognised for its social service. It is not a transportation vehicle but a transformation tool, it can be used not only for economic development but could also to transform lives,” he added.
Scindia said that we have also decided to deploy a helicopter in the next few weeks to provide emergency medical services at AIIMS Rishikesh.
The helicopter will be based at the hospital at 20-minute notice and will have a service cover to an area of 150 km radius.
It is the intention of the government to expand medical outreach and access to trauma care services to a wider population base across the country using the speed advantage and mobility of helicopters.
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