February 08, 2013
Importing business aircraft into India is becoming more difficult because of increased bureaucracy, a business aviation advocacy group says.
As well as the monthly aircraft acquisition committee meeting, India’s civil aviation minister is now said to be scrutinizing every application personally.
Rohit Kapur, president of the Business Aviation Operators Association of India (BAOA), says this has been going on for about five or six months and the backlog has reached around 40 aircraft.
The figure covers all civil aircraft applying for Indian registration, from airliners to business aircraft to general aviation.
“Business aviation has always been lumped in with them [airlines and GA aircraft], but the BAOA is trying to change this,” he says.
Kapur says the ministry has become involved in airliner acquisitions because it is trying to get regional aircraft operators to help open up India’s interior. But he says business aviation is a totally different case. “If a private company wants to buy the most efficient aircraft, why should it matter to the minister whether it buys a Gulfstream or a Bombardier? We want a simpler process.”
According to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation website, 39 aircraft were registered between Aug. 1 and the end of November, including 10 business aviation aircraft. The remainder were Airbus and Boeing airliners, regional aircraft, helicopters, and a number of flight training aircraft and personal light aircraft.
The BAOA also aims to narrow the disparity between import duty on private aircraft (nearly 25%) and commercial aircraft (2.5%).
“There were some loopholes in the law and some companies were importing under Part 135 and using them privately,” Kumar said.