In a welcome move that will buoy the fortunes of the aviation sector, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Minister of Civil Aviation in India said that the ministry plans to take the current number of airports in India from the current 136 to 220 in the coming five to seven years.
Scindia said, “There were 74 airports that had been built in the last 68 years of our existence prior to 2014. And in the last 6 years under the pioneering leadership of PM Narendra Modi, we have built an additional 62 airports. So we have almost doubled the number of airports in the last 7 years in India. An we hope to go from a 136 today to close to about 220(airports) over the next 5-7 years.That horizontal expansion will result in vertical depth in terms of regional airlines, helicopters- which is why we have come up with a new helicopter policy, a new MRO policy, and a new flying training organisation policy. We want to make sure that we are able to spur your growth and that is our charter and task.”
Scindia was speaking at the ‘Wings India 2022- A Curtain Raiser’ event on Thursday in New Delhi, where he flagged off India’s flagship civil aviation event named ‘Wings India’ which is jointly organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry(FICCI). The event is slated to be held from March 24-27, 2022 at the Begumpet Airport and in the upcoming edition will also host the ‘Global Aviation Summit’ under its aegis on 24-25th March
The minister was joined at the event by other dignitaries like Gen (Dr)VK Singh(Retd),MoS for Civil Aviation and Road Transport and Highways, GoI, Usha Padhee,Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India, Rajiv Bansal, Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman, Airports Authority of India and Rémi Maillard- President of Airbus India among others.
“The airline industry is fundamentally built on its ecosystem and that ecosystem has very strong underpinning and roots across the value chain from manufacturing which is the core which involves engineering, IT, which will now involve AI, nanotechnology, drones. So moving from product to service- airports, airlines, MRO’s , FTO’s, cargo, ground handling, drone delivery- so from product (we are) graduating to service. And both are resulting in economic and employment multipliers. Each dollar invested in civil aviation yields $3.25 dollars in terms of economic output and in terms of employment multipliers – every direct job generated by civil aviation results in 6.1 indirect employment opportunities. That potential cannot be replicated by many industries across the world.Wings India represents a great opportunity for India and our neighborhood,” Scindia added.
The biennial event provides a platform to the aviation sector to showcase its growth, challenges and ‘future ready’ technology and innovations. It is slated to have an exhibition, a global aviation summit, flying display, global CEO’s forum and an awards ceremony for the industry.
Last held in March 2020, the Wings India’s 2022 edition is expected to witness a larger participation from Indian and international companies from the aircraft manufacturing, aircraft machinery and equipment, aircraft interiors, airlines, airline services and air cargo, airports infrastructure and equipment, the space industry and the skill development and the aviation Training Institutes.