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Passenger flights set to become cheaper as govt focuses on efficient utilisation of airspace

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New Delhi, May 16: Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Arvind Singh on Saturday said efficient utilisation of airspace will help reduce travel time, fuel expense and air ticket costs.

Describing the reforms announced on Saturday as bold, he said they would have "far-reaching, significant and long lasting impact".

Representational Image

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that steps will be taken for efficient airspace management for civil aviation and to make the country a MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) hub.

The government would also auction six more airports on the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model. When asked about efficient utilisation of airspace, Singh said it would reduce travelling time in many sectors.

"Since travelling time will be reduced, it will become more economical and fuel cost will come down and ticket cost will go down," he told PTI.

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Currently, only around 60 per cent of the country's airspace is freely available and the government plans to ease the restrictions on utilisation of the airspace so that civilian flying becomes more efficient. Efficient airspace management for civilian flights could help in reducing flying costs to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.

The move would help "bring a total benefit of about Rs 1,000 crore per year for the aviation sector," Sitharaman said, adding that there would also be a positive environmental impact.

Earlier this month, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided that the Indian airspace should be effectively used in a manner that flying time for travellers is reduced and airlines also save costs. That will be done in close cooperation with the Department of Military Affairs, an official statement had said.

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