New Delhi [India] : Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday said the safety and security of air passengers was the top priority of his government.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour on the very first day of the winter session of Parliament, Scindia said his ministry takes immediate action, including imposing penalty, as and when any airline or airport is found guilty.
‘Safety and security is the priority of our ministry. For security, our institute BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) keeps a keen watch on all airports and for safety DGCA issues CAR (Civil Aviation Rule) so that the safety of the passengers is kept in mind. Whenever any airline or airport is found guilty, a penalty is imposed on them by the ministry,’ the minister said speaking in Hindi.
The Union minister was responding to a question posed by his fellow parliamentarian Kartikeya Sharma. Sharma asked whether the ministry was considering taking any step to safeguard the rights and the interests of the passengers taking into consideration some of the reported incidents when passengers were mistreated.
Sharma also asked the minister whether his ministry was looking at increasing pilot training institutes in the country. The minister, without getting into specifics, apprised the House of the mega aircraft orders placed by Indigo and Air India, and also assured of making the civil aviation sector the ‘backbone’ of the overall transportation sector.
Speaking about the UDAN scheme, he apprised that as many as 517 routes are currently. The UDAN scheme was initiated in October 2016 to fulfil the aspirations of the common citizen, with an enhanced aviation infrastructure and air connectivity in tier II and tier III cities.
The government had approved the ‘Revival of unserved and under-served airports’ scheme for the revival and development of 100 unserved and under-served airports, helipads and water aerodromes by 2024. It is an ongoing scheme where bidding rounds are conducted occasionally to cover more destinations or stations and routes.
Later during the Question Khan, a Rajya Sabha member from the Nationalist Congress Party, Fauzia Khan, asked the minister about the operational status of Nanded airport and problems emanating in bidding for routes.
‘Providing connectivity to Nanded is our priority not just because it is a prominent place in Maharashtra. The place is also important for our Sikh community. The difficulty is not on the airline side, but it is more on the airport side. The Maharashtra government had awarded this airport to a private sector entity, and it is owned by the state government…,’ said Scindia.
‘During the UDAN 5.0 round bidding, routes such as Nanded-Pune, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Goa, Patna, and Adampur were awarded. I am in touch with the state government and our thought is such that the state government should take back the airport under its fold and run its operations. Then shall we be able to start routes in Nanded,’ Scindia further said.
Meanwhile, the central government has 21 Bills on its agenda for the winter session, including the bills to replace the IPC, the Indian Evidence Act and the CrPC.