Civil Aviation Current Affairs
India and Lao PDR have signed civil aviation cooperation agreement for providing SkyRev360, a comprehensive e-data gathering, invoicing and collection system.
The agreement was signed between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Lao Air Traffic Management, Department of Civil Aviation.
SkyRev360 is fully automated and comprehensive data gathering invoicing and collection service system. It has been developed by AAI in collaboration with International Air Transport Association (IATA) under the Government’s Make in India initiative. It helps to eliminate inaccuracies errors and delays for better revenue management with less manual processing. It was launched in February 2017 by AAI.
It helps airport operators world-wide in avoiding revenue leakages, reducing redundancies, disputes and easy integration with all external systems. It also helps in curtailing the debt collection period to the minimum.
Data gathering and processing module: It can ensure essential data of invoices latest and most complete.
Invoicing module: It maintains all account attributes and allows for extensive view of associated data, including aircraft specifications, flight movements, billing ledger records, etc.
Collection: Its all data collections are managed with IATA Enhancement & Financing Services (E&F) process, which offers efficiencies and automation to air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airlines by settling through IATA Settlement Systems.
Airline queries: All queries and disputes related to billing and collection from your air operators are handled by IATA team.
Dashboard and reports: It continuously reports incidents, airspace usage, traffic volumes, economic values etc.
The Union Cabinet has approved number of amendments to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy. The purpose of amendments is to simplify and liberalise FDI policy in India to provide ease of doing business in country. The liberalized policy will lead to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, employment and income.
Key amendments approved
- 100% FDI for Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT) under automatic route.
- 100% FDI under automatic route in Construction Development.
- Foreign airlines allowed investing up to 49% in Air India under government approval route.
- FIIs/FPIs allowed investing in Power Exchanges through primary market.
- Definition of ‘medical devices’ amended in FDI Policy.
FDI policy on SBRT
The existing policy FDI policy on SBRT allows 49% FDI under automatic route, and beyond 49% up to 100% is allowed through government approval route. The amendment now permits 100% FDI for SBRT under automatic route. It also permits SBRT entity to set off its incremental sourcing of goods from India for global operations during initial 5 years against mandatory sourcing requirement of 30% of purchases from India.
Incremental sourcing means increase in terms of value of such global sourcing from India for that single brand (in Indian Rupees term) particular financial year over preceding financial year. After completion of 5 year period, SBRT entity shall be required to meet 30% sourcing norms directly towards its India’s operation on annual basis.
The amendment clarifies that real-estate broking service does not come under real estate business. Therefore, it is eligible for 100% FDI under automatic route.
FDI in Civil Aviation
Foreign airlines are allowed to invest capital in Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49% of their paid-up capital under government approval route. However, this provision was not applicable to Air India, implying that foreign airlines could not invest in Air India. The amendment does away with this restriction and allows foreign airlines to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India.
The present FDI policy allows 49% FDI in Power Exchanges registered under the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Power Market) Regulations, 2010 under automatic route. However, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) purchases were restricted to secondary market only. The amendment now allows FIIs/FPIs to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market as well.
The approved FDI Policy changes definition of ‘medical devices’. Earlier FDI policy on pharmaceuticals sector provided definition of medical device as contained in FDI Policy will be subject to amendment in Drugs and Cosmetics Act. As Now the reference to Drugs and Cosmetics Act from FDI policy will be dropped.