Monday, April 19, 2021

SII seeks Amit Shah’s help for smooth operations of non-scheduled planes in Pune

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World’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, Serum Institute of India, has sought Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s intervention in bringing changes in the Air Operations Routine (AOR) issuance policy at the Pune airport for smooth operation of non-scheduled aircraft.

In a recent letter to Shah, the Pune-based firm suggested amendments in the AOR policy stating, it is needed for foreigners to commute smoothly at the airport and encourage “ease of doing business in India”.

The Pune airport is a defence airfield that operates under the Indian Air Force (IAF). Because of this, AOR is required for the foreign passengers, pilots and crew members coming to Pune by non-scheduled flights, said Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India (SII), in the letter.

“According to current policy, certain rules related to AOR issuance cause huge inconvenience to these foreign passengers, pilots and crew members coming to Pune from any nation and even from any of our country’s airport,” he said.

Suggesting a few amendments, Singh said there is no Naval Operations Routine (NOR) requirement for operations at Goa Airport for foreign passengers/crew members which is also a defence airfield and operates under the Indian Navy.

“In the same way, this policy needs to be adopted for operations at Pune airport also which is a defence airfield, so that there is no requirement of AOR for foreign passengers/crew members at the airport,” he said.

Singh further stated that AOR issuance services should be available round-the-clock online, even on weekends and public holidays.

“Foreign national passengers on VT registered aircraft are already in possession of valid travel documents (Visa, OCI Card) and thus an additional check is deemed unnecessary. We propose AOR should be issued to them instantaneously and be valid for a year,” the letter stated.

Singh further suggested that “AOR must be issued to foreign operating crew within a specified time frame any day of the week (we propose two hours) and should be valid for a year”.

He said foreign operating crew on foreign-registered aircraft have valid licenses from their competent issuing authority and the verification of the same is mere paperwork.

“In view of these facts and genuine difficulties, as a last resort, I humbly request for your kind intervention for the above amendments in AOR Policy in line with our prime minister’s vision of ‘ease of doing business in India’ and to further encourage his dream project ‘Making in India’ for which we will be highly obliged,” Singh stated in the letter.

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