Rajya Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill

New Delhi (NVI): The Rajya Sabha today passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020, to improve safety and security for passengers, aircraft, and airports in line with international standards.

The Bill was tabled by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, in an hour-long discussion.

Notably, the Bill had already been cleared by the Lok Sabha in March this year.

The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to convert three aviation regulatory bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) –Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), and the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) – into statutory bodies

Hardeep Singh Puri introduced the Bill in the House yesterday which was considered today.

The Minister said that the amendments would fulfill the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which had raised questions of safety and security in its audit.

“The reflection of the body had necessitated an amendment to the Aircraft Act, 1934,” he added

Under the new Act (after its implementation) any violation will attract heavy punishment, for example, violators will be punished up to two years in jail or fine up to Rs 10 lakh or both.

Whereas, carrying arms, ammunition, and explosives or other banned goods on board, and developing illegal construction around the airports will attract fines up to Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 1 crore.

The Bill also empowers the central government to cancel the licences, certificates or approvals granted to a person if the person contravenes any provisions of the Act. However, the Bill exempts armed forces aircrafts of the country.