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New Delhi: The government has created three advisory groups, one each for airlines, airports, and MROs (maintenance, repair, and overhaul units), which will comprise industry leaders, and relevant government officials to find solutions to issues impacting the sector.

The civil aviation advisory group on airlines will be headed by minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and will include minister of state at MoCA VK Singh, secretary at MoCA Pradeep Singh Kharola, Directorate General of Civil Aviation Arun Kumar, and chairman and managing director, Air India Rajiv Bansal. It will also have promoters of airlines like Rahul Bhatia of IndiGo, Jay Singh of SpiceJet, Ness Wadia of GoAir, chairman of Vistara Bhaskar Bhatt, and chief executive, AirAsia India Sunil Bhaskaran.

The group on airlines will advise the government on enhancing domestic and international connectivity, matters related to leasing and financing of aircraft, aircraft and component manufacturing, manpower skilling in the aviation sector, among others.

Copies of the circulars issued by MoCA on the constitution of the three advisory committees have been reviewed by Mint.

The advisory group on airports will consist of senior government officials including the minister, minister of state, MoCA's secretary, director generals of DGCA and Bureau of Civil aviation Security (BCAS), chairpersons of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA), and Airports Authority of India (AAI) along with GBS Raju (chairman of GMR Group), Jeet Adani (vice president of Adani Group) and Hari K Marar (managing director and chief executive of Bangalore airport).

The civil aviation advisory group on airlines will advise the government on enhancing airport capacity, matters related to infrastructure augmentation and modernization, tariff-related and other regulatory issues, and capex (capital expenditure) targets of airports, among others, the circular added.

The group on MROs, cargo, ground handling and flight training will consist of senior government officials and senior industry officials from their respective fields.

This group will evolve strategy to ensure the growth of MRO, ground handling, cargo and FTO (flying training organization) sectors, the circular said adding that the advisory group will further help create a congenial ecosystem in the country by suggesting regulatory, policy improvements and measures for better efficiency and growth of the sector.

The industry has welcomed the setting up of advisory groups by the government to strengthen the sector. This development comes days after Jyotiraditya Scindia took charge as the civil aviation minister following a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the government would still need to carry out bold reforms including bringing down taxes on jet fuel, to help the sector mitigate some of the challenges posed by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, a senior official of a no-frills airline said, requesting anonymity.

"Creating committees makes sense only when the government is ready to carry out bold reforms that are suggested by these committees and industry stakeholders," the airline official added.

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