The Federal Cabinet has approved the new Aviation Policy 2019 in a meeting headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. This will be the beginning of the New “Fair Sky” policy and the end of the open sky policy for Pakistan Aviation. Following the cabinet meeting Fawad Chaudhry, the Information minister, highlighted certain aspects of the policy.
Revival of PIA
The Minister said that PIA was severely affected by the Open Sky policy as a number of lucrative routes were abandoned in favor of other international carriers. The new policy will help revive the national carrier. Agreements with International airlines will also be re-evaluated.
Relaxation in Age Limit of Imported Aircrafts
“This means that now you can import up to a 30-year-old plane for cargo operations. Previously, you could import only a 12-year-old plane. Passenger aircraft up to 18 years in age can be imported,” Fawad told the media.
End of High Rise Building Restrictions in Islamabad
The cabinet has also lifted the restrictions on construction of high rise buildings in the capital. The decision was made after taking both, CDA and PCAA, into confidence. An NOC from CDA will no longer be a requirement for the construction of high rise buildings in the commercial areas of the city.
Reduction in CAA Taxes
CAA will not only lift all charges from flight kitchens but also work on reducing taxes on national destinations. A special grant of Rs. 400,000 will be given by CAA to support female pilots in obtaining there license and training.
Taxes and levies have been reduced to zero for aviation services using a maximum of 40-seater airplanes (which includes helicopters) for ferrying people to tourist resorts and other areas of tourist interest.
“This will mean that if you start aviation services [to and from areas] like Gilgit Baltistan, Swat and other areas that are earmarked [as tourist sites], the CAA will not levy any charges,” he added.
Promoting Tourism With the New Visa Policy
The new visa policy includes visa on arrival for 58 countries and E-visa facilities for several others including China, UK, Malaysia, Turkey and UAE. The government wants to provide improved air transport facilities to domestic tourist destinations to expand Pakistan’s Tourist industry.