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ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Transport and Logistic (CCoTL) headed by Minister for Maritime Affairs, has directed Aviation Division to prepare a comprehensive Chopper Policy for commercial and personal use.

Well informed sources told Business Recorder that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) made a presentation on draft Chopper Policy to the CCoTL.

The Committee was briefed on the Aviation Policy of 2015, and revised policy of 2019. It was noted that there was no specific policy for helicopter operations in Pakistan. However, the Ministry is in the process of introducing first chopper policy in the country.

The new policy aims at encouraging private sector to develop heliports and purchase/ lease helicopters. The main intent is to provide access to areas where fixed-wing aircrafts can not fly. It is also proposed to expand helicopter operations for emergency operations (i.e. search and rescue operations), tourism to places including coastal and northern areas, adventure sports and also to promote regional integration.

In order to make the policy viable for chopper operators, it was suggested that the Federal Government may consider elimination of tax/ duties on helicopter operations. It was further suggested that Federal Government may also consider waiver of duties/ levy on fuel prices for supporting helicopter operations.

The Committee held threadbare discussion and observed that detail of custom duties/ taxes proposed for abolishment on helicopter operations were not given in the policy. The Civil Aviation Authority was asked to include the aspect of duties/ taxes in the proposed policy. Moreover, views/ opinion of the FBR must be obtained before proceeding further.

After detailed discussion, the CCoTL directed Aviation Division/ Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to: (i) develop two separate segments of the policy, one dealing with the Commercial sector and other for the private/ personal users and; (ii) include the details of the custom duties/ taxes required to be abolished as an incentive for chopper operators in consultation with the FBR.

The revised Chopper Policy, with required details, shall be presented to the CCoTL in its next meeting.

The ECC also directed the Aviation Division/ PIA to present PIACL Business Plan in the next meeting of the CCoTL.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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