Bangalore, July 17 (IANS) Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would soon be replaced with a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to regulate the troubled sector, which has been facing mounting financial and operational issues, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said Tuesday.
"As the DGCA has not been able to effectively regulate the growing needs of the industry, including state-run and private airlines, we propose to replace it with the CAA by amending the relevant act through a bill in the winter session of Parliament," Ajit Singh told reporters here.
To strictly reinforce safety and security of millions of passengers, state-run and private airlines, their aircraft and operations, the minister said that time had come to redefine the regulator's role and strengthen it to meet the challenges of the growing sector.
"Flying is no more a luxury but a necessity in a growing economy. It is not only the rich, but also a growing number of middle class people are opting to fly to fulfil their needs and commitments. Civil aviation is a part of the infrastructure," he observed.
Admitting that the civil aviation sector was going through turbulent times due to multiple factors such as huge financial losses, higher cost of operations, high cost of aviation turbine fuel and heavy taxation, Ajit Singh said the ministry was drafting a comprehensive policy to set regulatory standards and create an eco-system for an early turn around.
"All airlines are having acute financial stress with a cumulative loss of Rs.10,000 crore in the last fiscal (2011-12), face large credit exposure to (state-run) banks, pay more for fuel and bear multiple taxes," he lamented.
Earlier, Ajit Singh chaired a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee of his ministry here.