Private jets may soon land in care of aircraft operator

NEW DELHI: Super-rich Indians may soon be able to own private jets without having to take on the responsibility of managing and maintaining the aircraft.

The aviation ministry is working on a proposal to allow the concept of different owner and operator for private jets, said a government official.

If the proposal is implemented, it would allow a company or a private person to buy an aircraft and hand it over to an aircraft management company to

maintain and operate it on mutually agreed terms.

Currently, companies in India have separate wings registered under the ‘non-scheduled operator’ category to manage and operate such planes.

In a meeting convened by aviation secretary RN Choubey last month, it was decided that the government would work to allow the model followed by Europe and the United States, said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

“The economic adviser in the ministry has been asked to coordinate with the revenue department of the finance ministry on the matter and allow this model,” he added.

Industry analysts welcomed the move saying this would bring India on a par with various other countries.

“The concept of aircraft management companies has not really picked up in India due to lack of provision for different owner and operator. Once this is allowed, a lot of private businessmen will buy aircraft and hand them over to an aircraft management company, which will take all the responsibility of managing and operating the aircraft and the owners can use the aircraft depending on their needs,” said RK Bali, managing director of the Business Aviation Operators Association.

Under the current rules, a private businessman has to follow all regulatory requirements including hiring staff such as flight safety in-charge and crew to operate aircraft.

“All of this costs and is a hassle that a private businessman may not want to get into. But we will see a lot of such businessmen buying aircraft when there is an aircraft management company that takes care of all the hassles,” Bali said.

Analysts said that for the model to become operational, the government needs to rationalise the goods and services tax (GST) charged on the import of private aircraft and to find a model on the depreciation of the asset.



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