Civil Aviation in India started in 1911 when Mail (Dock) was for the first time carried by air from Allahabad to Naini. In 1920 the organised air transport service was started. In 1927 Civil Aviation Department was set up on the recommendation of Air Transport Council. In 1932 Tata Airways Limited introduced air services between Karachi and Lahore. In 1928 Flyings Clubs were opened in Delhi, Karachi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation:
Today the Directorate General of Civil Aviation operates the Civil Airports of India except the International Airports. It is also responsible for the air navigation and services including air traffic control and services for regularity and safety of aircraft operations. In 1953 on the recommendation of Planning Commission Air transport was nationalised and two autonomous corporations were set up—Indian Airlines Corporation and Air India International Corporation.
Later on after liberalisation of the economy, number of private scheduled airlines and air taxi has emerged. Indian Airlines, Alliance Air (subsidiary of Indian Airlines) and other private airlines provide domestic air services. Indian Airlines operations also extend to the neighbouring countries like Nepal, Pakistan, South East Asia and Middle East. Air India provides international air services.
Pawan Hans renamed Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited provides helicopter services to ONGC in its shore operations and to inaccessible areas and difficult terrains. The Government has ended the monopoly of Indian Airlines and Air India on the scheduled operations by repealing the Air Corporation Act 1953. There are the present two private scheduled airlines operating on the domestic network rendering the passengers a wide choice of flights. Apart from this 47 Air Taxi operators are providing non-scheduled air services.
A new policy on domestic air transport services was approved in April 1997 according to which barriers to entry and exist from this sector have been removed; choice of aircraft type and size has been left to the operator, entry of serious entrepreneurs only has been ensured and equity from foreign airlines, directly or indirectly in this sector has been prohibited.
Bangalore International Airport:
A Greenfield airport at Devanahalli near Bangalore is being implemented on a Build-Own Operate and Transfer (Boot) basis developed with Public Private Participation. The Government has signed a Concession Agreement with the Bangalore International Airport on 5 July 2004. Other project related agreements have also been signed and financial closure has been achieved on 23 June 2005. The first phase of the project is likely to be completed by mid of 2008.
Hyderabad International Airport:
The Government of Andhra Pradesh (GOAP) have selected a consortium led by M/s GMR Infrastructure Limited with Malaysian Airport Holding Berhard (MAHB) as the developer for Greenfield Airport at Shamshabad near Hyderabad. A Concession Agreement has been signed with the Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. on 20 December 2004. The project achieved financial closure on 22 August 2005. Work is to be completed by mid 2008.
The approximate cost of the Project is Rs.1760 crore. The Committee on Infrastructure under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister approved the development of 35 non-metro plans on airport each at Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim airports by 2010-11.
At the end of 1947, Air India submitted a plan to the Government for the formation of Air India International Limited with Government participation to operate international services. The plan was approved and Air India International launched its first service to London via Cairo and Geneva on 8 June 1984 with Constellation aircraft.
In 1952, the Planning Commission recommended the nationalisation of Air Transport Industry, which was effected on 1 August 1953, with the creation of two nationalised Corporations – Air India International Limited which retained its identity and international flag carrier status and Indian Airlines, to operate domestic services.
On 1 May 2002, Air India Limited was incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Companies Act, 1956 with the main object of succeeding the undertaking of Air India. The undertaking of Air India was transferred to and vested in Air India Limited with effect from 1 March 1994 in pursuance of the air Corporations (Transfer of Undertakings and Repeal) Act, 1994. Air India owns a fleet of 115 aircraft consisting of Eight B777-200 LR, Nine B777 300 ER, Twenty A 320, Nineteen A 319.
Air India operates 173 fights per week serving 59 stations (45 international and 14 domestic). Air India also has code-share agreements with 12 airlines to offer its passengers more destinations and convenient connections.
Air India has four subsidiary companies viz. Hotel Corporation of India Ltd. (HCI), Air India Charters Ltd. (AICL), Air India Air Transport Services Ltd. (AIATSL), and Air India Engineering Services Ltd. (AIESL).
The Hotel Corporation of India Limited (HCI) is a Public Limited Company wholly owned by Air India Limited and was incorporated in 8 July 1971 under the Companies Act,. 1956 when Air India decided to enter the Hotel Industry in keeping with the then prevalent trends among world airlines.
The objective was to offer to the passengers a better product, both at the International Airports and a other places of tourist interest, thereby also increasing tourism to India. However, in 2002-2003, three properties of HCI viz. Indo-Hokke Hotel Limited (Centaur Hotel, Rajgir), Centaur Hotel, Juhu Beach and Centaur Hotel, Mumb airport were sold of the remaining units of IHCI are Centaur Hotel, Delhi Airport, Centaur Hotel, Lakeview, Srinagar and Flight Kitchens at Delhi and Mumbai.
Air India Express, a budget carrier which was launched under the aegis of AICL, successfully completed one year of operation on 29 April 2006. With induction of new B737-800 aircraft, its fleet size has gone up to 7 planes. These aircraft have a seating capacityof189.
The Air India Express is planning to add new Indian stations like Tiruchirapalli, Managlore, Chennai and Amritsar, in addition to existing Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. Till winter ’05, the airline’s network was restricted to only Gult destinations like Dubai, Sharjah, and Al Ain. Muscat and Salalah.
The Company will be expanding its operations to SE Asia with the start of a daily service between Chennai and Singapore/Kuala Lumpur. Indian Airlines was set up under the Air Corporations Act, 1953 with an initial capital of Rs.3.25 crore with its Corporate Headquarters at Delhi. The undertaking of Indian Airlines was transferred to and vested in Indian Airlines Limited with effect from 1 March 1994 in pursuance of the Air Corporations (Transfer of Undertakings and Repeal) Act, 1994.
The Indian Airlines Ltd. has been merged with Air India Ltd. The Consolidated Company is named as National Aviation Company of India Ltd. It operates as under Govt. Al as well as IC code. Air India has a subsidiary low cost carrier Air India Express.
Pawan Hans Helicopters:
The Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd.(PHHL) is one of India’s leading helicopter companies and is known for its reliable helicopter operations. The company was incorporated in 1985 with the objective of providing helicopter services to the petroleum sector, linking inaccessible area of the country and operating charters for promotion of tourism.
Since its inception the company has operated number of helicopters by offering wide range of services to its clients through well balanced fleet of 45 helicopters consisting of Bell 206L4, Bell 407, Dauphin SA 365N, Dauphin AS 365N3 and Ni-172 PHHL is the only aviation company India being awarded ISO 9001: 2000 certification for its entire gamut of activities. The company has also developed two bell 407 helicopters for operations at Katra for Mata Vaishno Devi from April 2008 ourselves.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi:
The Indira Gandhi Rashtriaya Uran Akademi located at Fursatganj (UP) is an autonomous body under Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India. The Akademi has been established to train pilots to achieve higher standards in flying and ground training.
The Akademi is equipped with modern and sophisticated trainer aircraft, flight simulators, computer based training system (CBI), own ATC, runway with modern navigational and landing aids like DVOR/DME & ILS and own airspace.
It has various audio-visual training aids and other facilities for imparting effective flying and ground training by the most qualified personnel. Flying training is conducted on 13 Trinidad TB-20 single engine, 6 Zlin and 2 King Air C-90A twin-engine turbo-prop executive class aircraft, fitted with modern instruments and avionics. Ab-initio to Commercial Pilots License (CPL), PPL to CPL courses with multiengine aircraft endorsement and Instrument Rating are conducted on a regular basis.
Flying Training School at Gondia:
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed to establish a premier pilot training institute at Gondia, Maharashtra to augment the ongoing efforts of Flying Training Schools for increasing the number of qualified and well-trained pilots, to tackle the huge demand for pilots in the industry. The Planning Commission has approved the proposal “in principle” for setting up of a Premier Flying Training Institute at Gondia, Maharashtra during the Tenth Five-Year Plan period.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken over the existing land measuring 321.54 hectares from the State Government of Maharashtra on 31 December 2005 at Gondia. Additional land measuring 84.38 hectares has also been taken over on 31 December 2005 from Maharashtra Government by AAI on payment basis. The terms and conditions of payments would be finalised in the MoU to be signed between AAI and Government of Maharashtra.
The proposed institute is to be registered as a subsidiary company of Airports Authority of India and is eventually planned to be run on JV basis with the participation of aviation stakeholders. The project is estimated to cost Rs.364.31 crore approx.