New Delhi: Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has said that the Government has doubled the number of airports in the country over the last eight years, from 74 in 2014 to 148 airports.
Jyotiraditya Scindia was addressing CAPA India’s Aviation Summit 2023 in New Delhi on March 20.
The Minister said the number of domestic air passengers has more than doubled in six years from 2014 to 2020, adding India will have more than 140 million passengers in 2024 alone.
Speaking about the scope of exponential growth, Jyotiraditya Scindia said India is the third largest domestic market in the world in terms of seat capacity, but in terms of international seat capacity, India is still
ranked at the 18th position. The Central Government has been taking unprecedented steps to create capacities, remove bottlenecks and simplify processes so that the nation can have the requisite aviation infrastructure in place, he said.
In the next seven years, domestic airlines are estimated to have a fleet of around 2,000 planes, he said.
India currently has a fleet size of 700 aircraft. ”It is a suitable time for the manufacturing sector to commence in India,” Jyotiraditya Scindia said and emphasised that it is high time to draw attention at producing aerospace products as the country’s aviation sector is flourishing to a great extent. Moreover, the growth of the drone sector can help in generating around 2.5 lakh jobs, and it is projected to be the value of Rs 3 lakh crore by 2023.
According to CAPA India projections, the country’s domestic passenger traffic is likely to rise to 16 crores in the 2023-24 fiscal year from an estimated 13.75 crore for the current fiscal.
The Government has strengthened institutes like the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), DGCA and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) by ten and 400 personnel, respectively, Jyotiraditya Scindia said. The Government has increased ATCOs to around 3,600 personnel and is set to see another 500 ATCOs by August this year.
The Minister also said the domestic aviation sector is seeing new highs in almost all parameters, particularly passenger traffic, with the latest record being around 4.56 lakh passengers on a daily basis. India continues to see daily passenger traffic of 4.2-4.4 lakh, and the next high season starting in October could break previous records, he said.