Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2019 Contents 36 AsianAviation | March 2019
AT THE FIRST GLOBAL AVIATION SUMMIT held in Mumbai in
January, the 1,200 participants heard from the heads of IATA, ICAO,
ACI, AAPA , and CANSO, as well as the country ’s Ministry of Avia-
tion, which told the group that the country could see 1 billion trips
by 2040, a six-fold growth over the 187 million people who travelled
in 2018. India’s commercial air fleet will increase to 2,359 by March
2040, up from 622 in March 2018.
The summit proved to be a platform for the aviation industry to
discuss the challenges facing the sector in the newly developing
growth spots and understand how technology-driven innovations
will change air travel in the future.
Already, India has the third-largest domestic aviation market after
the United States and China and for the first time the Ministry of Civil
Aviation has released a “roadmap” called “ Vision 2040” outlining
how the country intends to deal with the growth. The document
was put together by consultants KPMG India and the Federation
of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. “It is important for
India to have a robust 20-year plan that lays out the targets and the
path to get there along with timelines and clear accountability. This
document is an attempt in that direction,” it states.
The document is candid in acknowledging Indian aviation is “not
yet on a sound financial footing and this remains a work-in-progress
for the industry and its key stakeholders, including policymakers. The
fundamental drivers of air passenger demand, including population
and demographics and increasing incomes, are favourable and sup-
portive of on-going growth over the longer term,” the report assures.
Vision 2040 highlights the growth potential in different sub-sec-
tors of Indian aviation and the key action steps required bringing
sustenance to the congested and constrained aviation infrastructure
showing the way forward.
The report says India will have around 190-200 operational airports
by 2040 requiring an investment of about US$40 billion-US$50 billion.
Delhi and Mumbai are expected to host at least three airports while
the country ’s 31 biggest cities will have at least two airports each.
“An expression existed that India needed to get out of its own way
and many of us were looking at India punching below its weight.
It has a large population, is a big country and wasn’t doing much
for the aviation sector. That has all changed,” said Angela Gittens,
director general of the non-profit Airport Council International (ACI).
“ With six airports coming up in the next few months, it doesn’t take
much for a country this size.”
All major airports in India are augmenting their air-side and terminal
capacities to address demand. Delhi, with 66 million passengers in
2018, is now the seventh-largest airport in Asia. It will see significant
growth when its fourth runway and fourth terminal are commissioned
in the next three to four years. The second airport for the National
Capital Region is planned at Jewar in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Second airports are being planned for Mumbai, Goa, Vizag and Pune.
Work on the upcoming Navi Mumbai and Mopa airports (in Goa) is
underway. The Bhogapuram airport (near Vizag) is in the bidding
stage and is likely to commence construction in 2019. The bidding
process for Pune’s second airport at Purandar is expected soon. A
new international airport at Kannur in North Kerala was commis-
sioned in December 2018. Earlier in September 2018, India’s 100th
operational airport was commissioned at Pakyong in the Himalayan
state of Sikkim.
A new vision for India
India’s aviation market is one that cannot be ignored with the growth in air
traffic at around 18 percent per annum, creating a host of challenges for the
country. Neelam Mathews attended a recent conference that outlined the
country’s plans for growth.
▲ India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has released a “roadmap” called
“ Vision 2040” outlining how the country intends to deal with the fast
growth of the aviation industry.
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