The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha today.
The Statement of Objects and Reasons in the Bill noted that an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2012 and 2015 indicated a need to give proper recognition to the regulators under the Act and enhance the maximum quantum of fines. The Bill brings the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security under the ambit of the law. It also enhances the punishment for offences from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 1 crore. Such offences include wilfully flying an aircraft to cause danger to any person or to any property on land or water or in the air.
Discussions during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha ranged from locust attack causing crop damage in Rajasthan to Tamil Nadu’s adoption of a new education policy. Several Members in both the Houses asked for a timely response to contain the outbreak of Coronavirus.
During Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, one Member asked the amendment to the 2006 Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification to be revoked. The amendment, made in January 2020, categorizes all projects in off-shore and onshore oil and gas exploration as B2 projects. The 2006 notification classifies projects requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment report as B1 and projects which do not require an Environment Impact Assessment report as B2. B2 Projects also don’t need to undertake public consultation.
Later in the day, the Parliament took up the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address.