The civil aviation industry in India has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country during the last three years.
With a 19 percent growth in domestic passenger traffic from about 6.1 crore in 2014 to 10 crore in 2016-17, India is now the third largest aviation market in the world, with the promise to grow even further. What is most impressive about this growth is its inclusive nature defined by the Regional Connectivity Scheme –UDAN, that has made air travel possible for even the common man in remote areas. According to P Ashok Gajapathy Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, his Ministry has worked towards reshaping aviation ecosystem for affordable and convenient flying for everyone by bringing in the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016. The Minister was briefing the media in New Delhi today, about the achievements of the Civil Aviation Ministry during the last three years. The MoS for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha was also present on the occasion.
Raju said that average or median airfares fell by 18 percent during 2016-17, making flying more affordable for the common man. Scheduled domestic flight movements also rose from 7 lakh in 2014 to 8.2 lakh in 2016, an 8.2 percent CAGR growth. As against 395 aircrafts in the fleet of Indian carriers, there are 496 aircrafts in operation today, and another 654 are under purchase. Route Dispersal Guidelines have been rationalized, multiple provisions have been made for MRO service providers and a slew of initiatives like the AirSewa portal, enhanced compensation for cancellation and boarding denial have been taken for improving passenger convenience
The Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN has been by far the most path-breaking achievement of the Ministry. 31 currently served, 12 under-served and 27 unserved airports are now connecting 128 RCS routes across the country. 50 airports are being revived and 13 lakh new UDAN seats are being added annually under the first round of UDAN for a Viability Gap Funding of Rs 205 crore.
Raju also talked about the other achievements of the Ministry like promoting Ease of Doing Business by allowing 100 % FDI in domestic scheduled air transport, Open Skies Service Agreements offers to 49 countries and 5 SAARC nations etc, developing a robust security architecture by complying with ICAO requirements, Anti Hijacking Act etc, promoting innovative technology like GAGAN, India’s first navigation based system to improve accuracy of air navigation services and focusing on skill development in the aviation sector. About skill development the Minister informed that the first Executive Aviation Course was launched by India’s first Aviation University in February 2017. 800 ATCs were recruited by AAI in the last 2 years and more than 400 are planned to be recruited in 2017. The Minister said that Aerospace and Aviation Skill Sector Council has been formed to monitor growth of skill development.
Also speaking on the occasion MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the civil aviation sector in India has undergone a complete transformation in the last three years with India emerging as the world’s third largest aviation market. As against 70-75 airports in the country in all these years, we now have more than 100 airports with the implementation of UDAN. We hope to have 200 plus airports in the next 10-15 years. He informed that the capacity of existing major airports is also being increased rapidly, while Greenfield airports are coming up at several places in the country like Goa , Navi Mumbai and other places. Sinha informed that Air India has also performed extremely well during the last three years.