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Indo - US Civil Aviation relation

New Delhi
April 26, 2007
(Press Information Bureau)

India and the USA have a totally liberalized Air Services Agreement. A revised Air Transport Agreement between India and USA was signed on 4th April, 2005 replacing the earlier Agreement signed in 1956. USA is the only country with which India has signed an agreement based on the open sky principles. The basic features of the said Agreement are as under:

Multiple designation of airlines i.e. either side can designate any number of airlines.

No restriction on frequency/capacity.

No restriction on point of call, i.e. airlines of either country can operate to any point in the territory of the other Contracting State. 

No restriction on the exercise of 5th freedom traffic rights through any intermediate point and to any beyond points.

No restriction on cargo flights i.e. either side can operate any number of freighter services to any airport in the other country.

Traffic from one aircraft can be transferred to another aircraft at any point on the route.

Airlines of both sides can code share with other airlines as well as domestic airlines of the other country.

The benefit of this Open Sky Agreement has been that though the earlier Agreement had provision of multiple designation and no restriction on 3rd/4th freedom traffic to the available points of call, the revised Agreement has also lifted restriction on the points of call. Besides it has also removed all restrictions on exercise of 5th freedom traffic rights, code share rights and provides for greater operational flexibility. Removal of restrictions on points of call, code share rights and 5th freedom rights has provided greater commercial opportunities to the carriers of either side.

The designated airlines and their current operations are:

· Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara are the designated airlines of India to operate on India-US route.

· Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines are the designed airlines of USA.

· Presently, the four US carriers viz. Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, American Airlines and North West Airlines are providing a total of 28 services per week and Air India is also providing 28 services per week in India-US route. The direct flights of Continental, Delta and American airlines have commenced after signing of the revised ASA.

· Jet Airways, a private scheduled carrier will also commence operations on India – US sector very soon.

A memorandum of Agreement (‘Umbrella Agreement’) between the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of USA and the Indian Civil Aviation authority has been signed on 13th November, 2006 in New Delhi. The proposed agreement provides for assistance by FAA to the Civil Aviation sector in India in developing and modernizing the civil aviation infrastructure in the managerial, operational and technical areas. All assistance under this agreement will be on the basis of reimbursement of costs. 

The assistance essentially includes the following areas:

· Providing technical and managerial expertise in developing, improving and operation of civil aviation infrastructure, standards, procedures, policies, training and equipment.

· Providing training for civil aviation personnel. 

· Inspection and calibration of our civil aviation equipment and air navigation facility.

· Providing resources, logistical supports and equipment for air navigation facilities.

· Assistance in airport certification in India.

· Assistance in the field of Helicopter Operational Safety initiative.

This Umbrella agreement will create enabling provisions to sign agreements for technical and managerial expertise in civil aviation sector, technical co-operation in a range of aviation safety areas, training for civil aviation personnel, resources, logistical support and equipment for air navigation facilities and assistance in airport certification in India etc.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the FAA in a Memorandum of Consultations signed on 13th November, 2006 agreed to work further towards entering into a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement. 

The US authorities proposed an Aviation Cooperation Programme (ACP) to be funded through United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). The proposed ACP is a public/private partnership between the USTDA, the FAA and US Aviation companies. This Programme is designed to provide a Forum for communication between the Government of India and US public and private sector entities in India. The initial funding of the Programme is proposed through the public institutions of USA and private companies having stakes in aviation. 

The ACP’s specific objectives are:

· To promote increased safety, operational efficiency and system capacity n the Indian aviation sector.

· Facilitate and coordinate aviation industry training and technical ties between the US and India and 

· Strengthen overall US-India aviation cooperation. 

The Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India and the USTDA have also signed a co-operation Framework Agreement on 9th November, 2005 to outline the general procedures whereby USTDA would consider prospective opportunities for technical assistance for Indian government entities for activities such as project preparation, trade capacity building, investment analysis and sector development. Activities to be funded by USTDA will be identified and selected by Indian entities and communicated to USTDA by the Department of Economic Affairs.

The ACP, which would be one step forward in the civil aviation sector will be signed shortly.

A three-day India-US Aviation Partnership Summit began in New Delhi on 23rd April 2007 which included high level meetings, plenary sessions and one to one meetings. The objective of the Summit was to encourage high level discussions between the US and Indian aviation sectors regarding industry growth challenges. It helped in building the long term strategy and commercial relationship between US and Indian aviation sectors to address many important issues, e.g. air traffic airborne systems. 


India has now become a State of Design and Manufacture of aircraft, and is stepping into international arena in this sophisticated technological field. Indian manufactured Advanced Light heli.
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