All the new national highways to be constructed in the country will have helipads along them for immediate evacuation during emergencies, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia revealed on Tuesday while speaking at Civil Aviation Minister’s Conference.

“We had talks with the Ministry of Road Transport that all the new highways should have helipads along them so that infrastructure is in place. Helipads on national highways will help in immediate evacuations during emergencies,” Jyotiraditya Scindia said during the event. The event was organized in the national capital and the delegates of the civil aviation ministry were also present at the event.

Earlier on Tuesday Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia urged West Bengal, Delhi and Punjab among eight states to reduce VAT on Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) for facilitating air connectivity to Tier-II, Tier-III cities.

The Minister made the request to Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Punjab governments to reduce VAT on ATF for the growth of civil aviation sector in their states.

Scindia promised to increase aeroplane connectivity in these eight states if they reduce VAT on ATF.

“I urge you (eight states) politely to reduce VAT on ATF. I promise you to increase the aeroplane connectivity in your states,” Scindia said while speaking at the concluding session of a two-day conference of Ministers of Civil Aviation of all states and Union Territories here in the national capital.
The Minister said there were 12 states who had far-sighted views on this issue and they had lowered VAT on ATF many many months ago. “Therefore they had increased travel to their states because aeroplanes will go where raw materials are cheap. And ATF constitutes between 45-50 per cent of the total cost of the airline sector.”

“The ATF of these 12 states was 1-4 per cent, and the ATF of 26 states was 20-30 per cent. In the last one-and-a-half year, the graph of the ATF has increased from Rs 53,000 per km to Rs 1.40 lakh per km. In the last few months, there is a reduction in ATF of almost 20 per cent but the most cost-affecting part of the airline sector is still ATF,” Scindia said.

The Minister also mentioned how civil aviation has beeen mostly affected sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Considering multiple problems being faced by passengers across the world due to late running of planes, long queues on airports and issues of missing baggage, Scindia said “I am happy that India cooperating seamlessly”.
“Pre-Covid, India’s record was nearly 4 lakh passengers per day. We broke that record two times– in April this year and another a few days ago. We have achieved a new record this time between 4.07 lakh to 4.1 lakh travellers per day,” Scindia said while speaking at the concluding event of a two-day conference of Ministers of Civil Aviation of all states and Union Territories.
“It is a new record that India has set during the post-Covid scenario,” he added.