India’s Civil Aviation industry has flown many miles, set numerous milestones, and overcome many challenges to become one of the world’s most lucrative aviation markets. The growth of the sector has been monumental. To unleash its true potential, the government has set up a roadmap to achieve a new vision for the civil aviation sector of India by 2047, focusing on policies to add remote and regional areas to the map of the Indian aviation.
To boost this growing industry, the Ministry Of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Airports Authority Of India (AAI) and Federation Of Indian Chambers Of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organises the biennial show “Wings India”, the next edition of which will be held next year in Hyderabad from 18-21 January, 2024.
Addressing the curtain raiser of the show “Wings India 2024” organised by FICCI, the Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that with the freeing of India’s growth potential nothing could stop the country from becoming the world’s leading aviation hub by 2047.
“From the third largest domestic market, the eighteenth largest international market, and the seventh largest domestic and international market we are set to become the largest aviation market in this journey from the Amrit Kaal to Shatabdi Kaal by 2047,” Scindia said.
Reiterating the government’s commitment to creating an international aviation hub in the country, he said a large number of air services and open skies agreements inked between India and other countries would facilitate that.
Scindia also said that India is set to become the largest aviation market in the countdown to the centenary year of its independence in 2047. A large number of air services and open skies agreements inked between India and other countries would help transform the country into an international aviation hub very soon.
Civil Aviation Secretary, Rajiv Bansal on the occasion said with the country currently connected to less than 100 destinations globally there was a huge scope for ramping up international operations in the next seven years.
Chairman of the Airports Authority of India, Sanjeev Kumar said that Wings India 2024 will offer a platform to the stakeholders to showcase latest development, demonstrating sector’s significance to the country’s economy and help create myriad opportunities for partnership and collaborations.
Secretary General – FICCI, Shailesh K Pathak, said that currently, Indian metro airports have direct flights to less than 100 global destinations. In the next ten years, this number would double and non-stop flights to most international destinations would be possible.
Remi Maillard, Chairman, FICCI’s Civil Aviation Committee and President & MD, Airbus – India and South Asia, while highlighting the opportunities in the Indian civil aviation sector said that there has been an increase in air cargo operations. “India is to remain the fastest growing market in the world,” he said.
India’s Civil Aviation industry has flown many miles, set numerous milestones, and overcome many challenges to become one of the world’s most lucrative aviation markets. The growth of the sector has been monumental. To unleash its true potential, the government has set up a roadmap to achieve the vision of 2047 for the civil aviation sector of India focusing on policies to add remote and regional areas to the map of Indian aviation.
Following the largest global order for aircraft by the recently privatised Air India, Tata-owned airline had acquired the capability to drive the growth of the country’s aviation sector, Scindia said. “A company that under the government was bleeding Rs 7,200 crore of common taxpayer money today has become a potential of growth for our country with this historic order of 470 planes with Airbus and Boeing. That is the unlocking of value; that is the unlocking of potential,” declared Scindia.
Leading the growth of this important sector are diverse factors, the main one is the large scale of the India’s domestic aviation sector. India is currently one of the fastest-growing aviation markets and currently the third largest civil aviation market in the world. Around 80 international airlines operate regular services to India, and approximately 6300 international flights take-off from different airports of India, on a daily basis.
Added to this is the booming domestic aviation sector, with low cost airlines transforming flying to an affordable option for many Indians. 1000 new aircraft have been added to the Indian civil aviation sector, in the past five years. International tourist arrivals are expected to reach 30.5 million by 2028; freight traffic at Indian airports is expected to cross 11.4 MT by 2032
Keeping the consumers aspirations and demands in view the GoI, under the leadership of PM Modi plans to operationalise more than 220 airports from the current 184 airports (including operational + non-operational) by 2025. Already 29 states are covered under the Krishi Udan 2.0 Scheme of the GoI. 50 airports under a low-cost model are to be developed all over the country, including under PPP. For last mile connectivity, under UDAN 4.2, 184 routes have been awarded to private players – 16 for helicopters, 50 for seaplanes and 118 routes for small aircraft connectivity.
Indeed the future for the Indian civil aviation industry seems all set to fly to newer heights!
-The writer is a senior political, defence and foreign affairs commentator based in New Delhi. He can be contacted at www.asadmirza.in.