Aviation and Home Ministry officials take note of concerns ahead of finalizing the aviation policy
The Ground Handlers Association of India (GHAOI) has been asked to submit a position paper on key aspects of draft national civil aviation policy which amongst others affect Safety and Security of Airports highlighted by the association. “The draft policy allows self-handling, third party handling, temporary employees and unlimited players in the airport, an utterly disastrous and thoughtless move,” the association said.
The association representing the ground handlers has been expressing their concern ever since the draft aviation policy was made public, last year. Members of the association met Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs in the month of February to voice their concerns.
He also asked the members to meet the Joint Secretary and Special Secretary Internal Security to ensure the concerns are well received. A few members of the recently constituted Group of Ministers under chairmanship of Rajnath Singh, have also reached out to understand the nuances of the policy and its impact on safety and security.
Elaborating on the position paper, Arvind Kumar, Secretary General, Ground Handlers Association of India, said “As an association, we feel the draft aviation policy has serious loop holes that need to be fixed before it is rolled out to avoid threat to national security. Our biggest worry is unrestricted and unqualified self-handling and third party handling with contract labour, as it will lead to existing domain experts being replaced with unqualified operators. It is sad that some of the airlines are encashing on the opportunity and have moved the debate to price points; the fares would come down but only by less than a percent if at all. Would you like to risk your life for less than a 100 rupees?”
The position paper will highlight the safety and security aspects that are brought forth by Ground Handlers Association of India. The paper will highlight the origin the ground handling policy – that came into effect during the governance of our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee – global trends and best practices, and the importance of a sound & robust ground handling policy in a booming aviation sector – include establishment of firewalls, bonafide wholetime employees and level-playing field for everyone.