KARACHI: Director General of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Khaqan Murtaza has said that ease of doing business and reduced cost of doing business have been ensured in the National Aviation Policy which was likely to open up a lot of business opportunities, promote tourism through improved regional connectivity and prove favorable for the economy.“We are open to all types of suggestions and criticisms so that we could further improve the services being offered by Civil Aviation Authority”, he said, adding that CAA was working really hard to improve and further develop the infrastructure at airports including new helipads, up-gradation of passenger lounges at airports, flight kitchens and cold storage extensions etc.DG CAA was speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry which was also attended by Deputy Director General CAA Nadir Shafi Dar, Director Air Transport & Economic Regulation CAA Commodore Irfan Sabir, President KCCI M. Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President M. Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan and KCCI Managing Committee Members.Director Air Transport & Economic Regulation CAA Commodore Irfan Sabir, while delivering a presentation on “Contribution of Aviation in Promotion of Global Regional and Domestic Tourism”, informed that a total of 44 airports existed all over the country, of which 27 airports were operational whereas six airports have been scaled down and the remaining 11 airports were closed due to non-activity.He said that in January 2019, the Prime Minister directed Aviation Division/ CAA to critically and comprehensively review NAP to support Aviation and Airline Industry in Pakistan. Subsequently, NAP was reviewed and approved by Federal Cabinet which ensures reduced cost of doing business, ease of doing business, reduced/ rationalized paid-up capital & Security Deposit, tourism promotion, facilitation for aircraft manufacturing and simulator set ups.He explained that paid up capital and security deposits have been reduced by almost 50 percent whereas the land-lease rates and rents have been rationalized significantly in order to reduce the cost of doing business. “With a view to ensure ease of doing business, aircraft age requirement parameters have been relaxed, paid-up capital regulations have been rationalized and license validity has been expanded from one to two years”, he added.Director Air Transport informed that Tourism Promotion & Regional Integration (TPRI) license has been introduced through NAP 2019 and three licenses have been issued so far which includes adventure, religious and medical tourism. “TPRI license authorizes to conduct helicopter services in addition to fixed wing aircraft while minimum paid up capital required is Rs10 million along with Security of Rs5 million.”He said, “While CAA ensures infrastructure for air connectivity to all tourist destinations, business community can come froward to help develop aircraft operations, helipads, hotels/ lodges, lounges, storage facilities and tourism related allied services. The integration of aviation with business community will help in development of tourism in Pakistan, in addition to presenting the true soft image of Pakistan.” Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI M. Shariq Vohra extended full support and cooperation to CAA for making NAP successful as the business community of Karachi would like to see a flourishing aviation and aircraft industry which would ensure economic prosperity for the country.He was of the opinion that the infrastructure development of airports and beautification have to be carried out in such a manner that these airports depict the diverse Pakistani culture to attract maximum number of tourists. Special attention must also be given to improving the perception through a more friendly approach.While appreciating the expansion and infrastructure development plans for various airports all over the country, President KCCI underscored the need to develop, modernize and expand Jinnah Terminal in Karachi which must not be ignored. “It’s good to see that CAA is focused on promoting tourism in northern areas of Pakistan but a lot of tourism opportunities exist in Karachi as well, particularly its beaches which must also be promoted”, he said, adding that KCCI should be taken on board in the policy making process so that we could give our inputs on how to improve CAA’s performance and effectively promote tourism in Karachi and elsewhere. “We are keen to work closely with CAA to explore business avenues through public-private partnership.”President KCCI further suggested to establish a CAA facilitation desk at KCCI for the members of business and industrial community to create a strong liaison between the two institutions.
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