National Aviation Policy ensures ease of doing business: CAA

Web DeskWeb Editor

06th Jul, 2021. 06:43 pm
National Aviation Policy ensures ease of doing business: CAA

KARACHI: The National Aviation Policy, which was likely to open up a lot of business opportunities, promote tourism through improved regional connectivity and prove favourable for the economy, ensured ease of doing business with reduced costs, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director-General Khaqan Murtaza said: “We are open to all types of suggestions and criticisms so that we could further improve the services being offered by [the] Civil Aviation Authority.”

The authority was working hard to improve and further develop the infrastructure at airports, including new helipads, upgradation of passenger lounges at airports, flight kitchens and cold storage extensions etc, he added.
CAA Air Transport and Economic Regulation Director Commodore Irfan Sabir, while delivering a presentation on “Contribution of Aviation in Promotion of Global Regional and Domestic Tourism”, said that there are a total of 44 airports in the country, of which 27 were operational, whereas six airports have been scaled down and the remaining 11 were closed due to non-activity.

In January 2019, the prime minister had directed the Aviation Division/ CAA to critically and comprehensively review the National Aviation Policy to support the aviation and airline industry in Pakistan. Subsequently, the policy was reviewed and approved by the Federal Cabinet, which ensures reduced cost of doing business, ease of doing business, reduced/rationalised paid-up capital and security deposit, tourism promotion, facilitation for aircraft manufacturing and simulator setups.

Commodore Sabir said that the paid-up capital and security deposits have been reduced by almost 50 per cent, whereas the land-lease rates and rents have been rationalised significantly to reduce the cost of doing business.

“With a view to ensure ease of doing business, the aircraft age requirement parameters have been relaxed, paid-up capital regulations have been rationalised and the licence validity has been expanded from one to two years,” he added.

The Air Transport director said a licence for tourism promotion and regional integration (TPRI) has been introduced through the policy and three licences have so far been issued, which includes adventure, religious and medical tourism.

“TPRI licence authorises to conduct helicopter services in addition to fixed wing aircraft, while minimum paid-up capital required is Rs10 million along with the security of Rs5 million.”

He said, “While CAA ensures infrastructure for air connectivity to all tourist destinations, [the] business community can come forward to help develop aircraft operations, helipads, hotels/lodges, lounges, storage facilities and tourism-related allied services. The integration of aviation with the business community will help in the development of tourism in Pakistan, in addition to presenting the true soft image of Pakistan.”

KCCI president M Shariq Vohra extended full support and cooperation to the Civil Aviation Authority for making the National Aviation Policy successful, as the business community of Karachi would like to see a flourishing aviation and aircraft industry, which would ensure economic prosperity for the country.

The infrastructure development of airports and beautification have to be carried out in such a manner that these airports depict the diverse Pakistani culture to attract maximum number of tourists, he said, adding that special attention must also be given to improving the perception through a more friendly approach.

Appreciating the expansion and infrastructure development plans for various airports across the country, the KCCI president underscored the need to develop, modernise and expand Jinnah Terminal in Karachi, which must not be ignored.

“It’s good to see that CAA is focused on promoting tourism in [the] Northern Areas of Pakistan but a lot of tourism opportunities exist in Karachi, as well, particularly its beaches, which must also be promoted,” he said, adding that the KCCI should be taken on board in the policy making process so that it could give inputs on how to improve the authority’s performance and effectively promote tourism in Karachi and elsewhere.

“We are keen to closely work with the Civil Aviation Authority to explore business avenues through public-private partnership.”

The KCCI president also suggested establishing a CAA facilitation desk at the KCCI for the members of the business and industrial community.

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