Thursday, June 13, 2024

India Dominates the Civil Aviation Scene: Jyotiraditya Scindia

By Chaitali Bag

The spellbinding “Wings India 24” spectacle, which lasted for four days, came to a triumphant close in Hyderabad. It was the biggest event in the civil aviation sector in Asia. “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation @2047” is the show’s overarching topic, and it covers all types of aviation, from commercial to general to business. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, launched the opening session of the Global Aviation Summit at Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport.

To kick off the occasion, Scindia remarked, “The philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum” truly epitomizes the objectives of civil aviation connecting the world as one family while addressing the local aspiration of the ordinary citizens to fly.” According to the Union Minister, the aviation industry has seen phenomenal growth in emerging nations, and it is one of the main drivers of economic progress. With its many positive effects on tourism, trade, connectivity, economic growth, employment, and the ability to respond quickly to unusual events, the aviation industry is a major economic and social force. The three A’s are exemplified by India’s aviation industry: Accessibility, Availability, and Affordability.

The Minister praised India’s rise to prominence in the civil aviation industry, praising the country’s remarkable growth narrative. There was a 14.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the total number of domestic passengers, which increased from 60 million in 2014 to 143 million in 2020 and is projected to have surpassed 150 million in 2023. Our average daily passenger count is above 4.5 lakh, with a recent high of 4.67 lakh throughout the country. There was a 6.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the number of foreign passengers in the six years before FY 2020. Indian airports saw a 60% growth in domestic cargo volumes and a 53% increase in international cargo volumes in the fifteen years before FY 2019. India is still a very under-penetrated market, even though it has seen great development recently. Scindia stated that India will remain one of the least penetrated markets among the 20 biggest markets, even if the number of domestic passengers hits 635 million by FY 2030, according to predictions.

The minister announced that 76 airports in Tier-3 and Tier-4 areas and other secluded parts of the nation had been operationalized under the Prime Minister’s flagship programme RCS-UDAN, improving last mile connectivity. By encouraging travel, increasing commerce, and strengthening regional economies, UDAN has, over the last six years, shown the world our nation’s full potential. Under this plan, even the most inaccessible airstrips and airports have been revitalised, allowing pilots in the most rural areas of the nation to take to the skies for the first time. Through over 2.5 lakh flights, this plan has helped over 1.32 crore individuals. Along with the 517 lines that were operationalized and 1300 UDAN routes that were granted, we have also supplied a VGF of about 3,100 crores. Additionally, we are promoting the rise of small aircraft and helicopters in India to guarantee smooth last mile connectivity across the nation. Particular UDAN rounds have been carried out for Seaplane Routes, Helicopter Routes, and Small Aircraft Schemes. We are currently in the process of implementing a GAGAN-based low-level instrument flight rules (IFR) route tailored to helicopters in order to increase safety during operations and to allow access at all times of day and night. Capacity building is a subject that we are tackling at every stage of the value chain, from aviation infrastructure to human resources. A sufficient number of pilots, cabin crew, engineers, etc. will be available in the nation thanks to our liberalised policies. The number of FTOs in the country has been significantly expanded, which will guarantee that the industry has access to a sufficient supply of educated resources. Over the last two years, the government has been granting a record number of Commercial Pilot Licences. In 2023, the amount topped 1,622 CPLs, which was 40% more than the previous highest figure of 1,165 CPLs recorded in 2022.

The Wings India 2024 conference featured seven noteworthy announcements:

  • Publication of FICCI and KPMG’s collective expertise report on civil aviation
  • Updated UDAN 5.3 Released
  • Rollout of the Airbus-Air India Training Centre, further aircraft acquisition, and the establishment of a flight training facility in Gurugram, equipped with ten flight simulators, with the goal of teaching ten thousand pilots over the next several years
  • Manufacturer Airbus has partnered with TATA ASL and Mahindra Aerospace Structures Pvt. Ltd. to train more pilots.
  • GMR and IndiGo have joined forces in a partnership to work on aircraft sector sustainability training with several patterns.
  • Opening of GMR Aviation School
  • Announcement of a deal with Akasa Air for a three-order, 200-aircraft term spanning 17 months

General (Retd.) Dr. V.K. Singh, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Road Transport and Highways, Shri Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Minister of Roads, Buildings, and Cinematography, Government of Telangana, and Shri Asangba Chuba Ao, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, were among the distinguished guests at the occasion.

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