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Explained: What is Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020, how does it work?

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New Delhi, Sep 15: On the second day of the Parliament monsoon session, Rajya Sabha took the initiative to discuss The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri initiated the discussion on the bill, which is being taken up for consideration and passing.

Aircraft

What is Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020?

The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to convert Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, and Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau to statutory bodies.

In this, the penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both. These offences include carrying arms, explosives, or other dangerous goods aboard aircraft, contravening any rules notified under the Act, and constructing building or structures within the specified radius around an aerodrome reference point.

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The Bill raises the maximum limit on fines for all these offences from Rs 10 lakh to one crore rupees.

On Tuesday, the House took up the discussions on The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri spoke about the Bill. He listed the achievements in civil aviation and also explained the COVID-induced challenges and how the ministry was overcoming it.

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Meanwhile, NCP MP Praful Patel during discussion on Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the Upper House said, "4-5 per cent people board flights one time in a year. If this number goes up to 10-15 per cent, we would need a huge increase in number of airports and aircraft. Airlines are financially stressed due to COVID-19 and need support."

On the other side, Congress, while debating the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020, attacked the Centre and said the government is running a scam in the name of developing airports in a PPP model.

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Rajya Sabha MP KC Venugopal said, "Adani group has won bids to operate and develop six airports. There's clear violation of norms in giving airports to a single private entity. The government ignored advice of some of its own ministries and departments. Changes in the norms were enabled for Adani Group to win all 6 bids."

In February this year, the Adani Group bagged contract for all six airports by winning the bids with huge margins. Centre has already privatised airports at Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati for operation, management and development through public-private partnership (PPP) model in February.

Now, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has recommended the Centre to privatise airports at Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Raipur and Trichy as well.

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