by Devesh Agarwal
India and Singapore signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral air services arrangement in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Ajit Singh and Minister of Transport of Singapore, Mr Lui Tuck Yew on April 2 in Singapore. It rationalizes the capacity entitlements of both countries in terms of seats per week in each direction with a route specific cap for Singapore on each route. The MoU also enhances, by 10%, the capacity entitlement with India now entitled to operate 29,400 weekly passenger seats from India to Singapore and the designated airlines of Singapore entitled to operate 28,700 weekly passenger seats from Singapore to India. No additional point of call has been given to Singapore. India also did not agree to the demand of Singapore for additional point of calls from Pune and Madurai.
The common pool rights to the extent of 5160 seats earlier available to Singapore, which provided greater operational flexibility to Singapore carriers at major metro centres viz Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, have now been withdrawn. The designated airlines of Singapore can operate with any aircraft type except A-380. The delegation level talks were held between Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Mr. Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. Both the sides have agreed to review and update the air services agreement and meet every two years to discuss various air services matters.
Shri Ajit Singh, during his visit to Singapore, also held Minister- level discussions with Minister of Transport of Singapore, Mr. Lui Tuck Yew and Second Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. S. Iswaran, to explore the possibility of co-operation in the area of civil aviation. Both the sides, while expressing satisfaction on growing trade and economic co-operation, felt that there was a need to foster greater co-operation in the area of airport development and airport management. Besides, institutional- level co-operation is needed in the areas of training in aviation skill development, maintenance repairs and overhaul services, aviation safety and exchange of technology transfer in air space management and air navigation services.