Govt must assist to promote domestic aviation: A M Jauffer | Daily News

Govt must assist to promote domestic aviation: A M Jauffer

President, A. M. Jauffer
President, A. M. Jauffer

The government must provide more concessions and install night lighting facilities at domestic airports to promote domestic aviation, said President, Chamber of Tourism and Industry A. M. Jauffer. This move would promote tourism to a great extent as well.

He said that domestic flying could only take place only during day time as none of the airports have facilities for flights to land after dusk.

Jaufer said that it takes 8 to 12 hours to reach destinations in the North and East by road and for tourists who arrives for a few days, the travel time taken is too much to visit these areas. “Hence, these areas don’t attract many tourists.”

“The best solution is to offer domestic air tickets at reasonable prices, so that both local and foreign travellers could also make use of the facility and fly to these destinations in the North and East.”

“Our Chamber met with representatives of domestic airline operators and had identified several issues that hinder the promotion of domestic aviation.”

In order to bring down the costs of domestic airline operators, the government must look at the removal of taxes, including vat on air-tickets.

Removal of Customs duty and other taxes on aircraft spare parts or concessions to be granted, is another suggestion.

Free landing and parking facilities too must be granted for domestic airline operators flying to Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara.”

Removal of the 14% withholding tax on the lease rental and granting concessional fuel prices for domestic operators too should be considered.

Jauffer also said that Air Force bases where there are domestic airports should try to provide facilities to supply fuel for Domestic Airlines. This could also bring in additional revenue to the Air Force, which also operators Heli Tours.

“The airline domestic operators also want the Digana (Kandy Airport) to be completed and opened for Civil Aircraft soon.

“Regulations on Pilot Licenses and Engineer/Technician Licenses too should be reviewed. “Rating requirements too should be relaxed to allow all Single Engine Aircraft to operate under one category of license as practiced by FAA-USA.”

“If we could resolve the above, the regional investment and tourism would boom and local business community would benefit, while at the same time tourist travel itinerary in the country could be expanded.”

The Chamber has also presented these suggestions to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, while expecting the legislators to discuss the matter during the Transport Ministry Vote in Parliament today.


 

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