India is likely to become a global aviation hub and be amongst the top three aviation markets worldwide by 2020 and the largest by 2030. Pratiksha Kapoor brings to light the imperatives of the Healthy Growth of Passenger Traffic in India
India’s civil aviation industry is on a high-growth trajectory. It has ushered in a new era of expansion, driven by factors such as low-cost carriers, modern airports, Foreign Direct Investment in domestic airlines, advanced information technology interventions and growing emphasis on regional connectivity.
“The aviation sector is likely to see investments totaling $12.1 billion during 12th Five Year Plan, out of which $9.3 billion is expected to come from the private sector. 200 low-cost airports are planned to be built in the next 20 years to connect tier-II and tire-III cities. $1.3 billion is planned to be spent on non-metro projects during 2013-17, mainly focusing on the
modernisation and upgradation of airports,” Anil Srivastava, Joint Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation, said in his statement. Even though the aviation sector has shown a recessionary trend in many countries, the Indian Aviation sector has been growing at a steady pace, and will most likely continue to do so.
The 5th India Aviation Event, held in March 2016 in Hyderabad, showcased the rising opportunities in Indian Aviation. The event was formally inaugrated by president Pranab Mukherjee. Leading aircraft manufacturers from around the world took part – Boeing, GE Aviation, Airbus, Textron and many others. Airbus announced Rs 260 crore investment in a pilot training school near Delhi while Telangana government announced tie-up with French institute Aero Campus Aquitaine to set up a centre for MRO(Manufacture, Repair and Overhaul) training.
There is great scope in India for ‘air cargo logistics’ and ‘MRO’. The growth in aviation sector is fueled primarily by the rapid development across the country, the ever increasing passenger traffic and aircraft demand. The availability of talented engineers , and cost effective manpower further induces an environment for growth. The R&D expertise, and the strategic position of India in the South East Asia means that the country will have to deal with massive international air traffic in the coming years.
According to Airbus’s latest global Market Forecast, in the 20 years from 2015 to 2034, India will require over 1,600 new passenger and freighter aircraft to help meet growth in demand. Valued at US$224 billion, these will include 1,230 new single aisle aircraft and 380 wide-body passenger and freighter aircraft. By 2035, the numbers of Indian cities with over one million monthly air passengers will more than triple. Furthermore, at current growth rates, the population of India is set to surpass China’s by 2024. The forecast predicts a fivefold growth in domestic air traffic.
The industry stakeholders should engage and collaborate with policy makers to implement efficient and rational decisions that would boost India’s civil aviation industry. Having said that, Indian policy makers have put forward proposals for expansion of the sector such as allowing new airlines to fly abroad, introduction of more regional flights and a new formula for granting bilateral flying rights and global company to invest in India encouraged by the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
In the Union Budget 2016-17, the government introduced various proposals for MRO operations for airplanes. For instance, the Indian Space Research Organization has signed a MoU with the Airports Authority of India, aimed at providing space technology for construction of airports.
Given the ripe conditions, the mantle is now upon the government. It remains to be seen whether the aviation ministry will be able to combine the rapidly increasing traffic with good policies to produce an aviation industry that is among the worlds biggest.