New Aviation Policy To Be Announced In July

The Modi government's move to give the Aviation Ministry a new secretary is paying off. The ministry is going to take some long-pending decisions this month, starting with a new Aviation Policy that will focus on improving connectivity within the country and making flying affordable. Aviation Secretary R N Choubey is learnt to have completely reworked a draft policy that was announced by the ministry last December. 

In addition, the Ministry has also decided to fill the critical position of Bureau for Civil Aviation Security chief that had been vacant for almost three years now. "An IPS officer of additional director-general rank is going to be appointed as BCAS chief this month. All issues that had been stalling this appointment for a long time have been resolved," said an official. 

Over-ruling a directive of the headless BCAS to have common security check areas at Delhi Airport's terminal 3, Choubey is learnt to have got a directive issued to IGI Airport to go back to having a separate counter for business and first class passengers — as is the norm at all Airports in the developed world. 

The government is also going to decide on the next chairman of Air India by mid-July. It has to take a call on whether outgoing chairman Rohit Nandan, who has been empanelled as secretary along with director general of Civil Aviation M Sathiyavathy, should be asked to continue at AI or someone else be brought in here. 

The task of finding AI chairman has been left to a three-member search panel headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha with Choubey and Department of Personnel and Training Secretary S Kothari. This panel will meet on Thursday. Nandan's three-year term as AI chief ended last August and he has been here on extension since then.