India and the United States have reached a preliminary understanding on the need for amending ground handling regulations for foreign airlines in their respective territories, according to the Indian daily The Hindu.
“We are adjusting ground handling norms and devising a mechanism to address their concerns without compromising security,” the daily quoted India’s Civil Aviation Secretary P. S. Kharola as saying.
The need for amending norms arose after both Washington and New Delhi toughened ground handling rules for foreign airlines at their respective airports citing security concerns.
The civil aviation ministries of both countries have resolved to perform their own ground handling responsibilities with stricter employee monitoring.
According to the daily, since the issue has national security implications, India’s civil aviation ministry will seek the approval of the union cabinet before modifying the Airports Authority of India (Ground Handling Services Regulations), 2018 clause, which currently forbids foreign airlines from carrying out at least 60 security functions related to ground handling services.
Apart from the US, Australia and Canada also stand to benefit from the amended air services agreement on ground handling.
Security restrictions, however, will continue to apply to foreign airlines of other countries, the report said quoting an Indian civil aviation ministry official.
Differences between India and the US surfaced after Washington objected to New Delhi, altering the bilateral air services agreement of 2005.