India to rank among top 5 aviation nations in 10 years: Pratibha Patil
Written by Vijay   
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Mumbai: Inaugurating the fourth International Civil Aviation Negotiation Conference (ICAN) here, President Pratibha Patil said that India is poised to be among top five aviation nations in the world in 10 years.

"Recent estimates suggest that domestic air traffic will touch 160 to 180 million passengers per annum, in the next 10 years and international traffic will exceed 80 million passengers per annum. At present, India is the ninth largest civil aviation market," she said.

In the last decade, domestic air traffic has quadrupled from 13 million to 52 million and international traffic more than tripled to 38 million. Today 87 foreign airlines fly to and from India and 5 Indian carriers fly to and from 40 countries.

"Aviation plays an important role in the economic development process of countries. Flying is no longer the prerogative of a few privileged but an option for an increasingly broader section of society," she said.

During the period from 2005 to 2010, USD 10 billion has been invested in airport development in the country. "In next five years, we plan to expand the airport network and provide connectivity to tier II and III cities. In Metro cities where the existing airport cannot accommodate future growth, a second airport is being planned in the same city. New Mumbai is a case in example," she said.

The rapidly expanding aviation sector handles 2.5 billion passengers across the world in a year; moves 45 million tonnes of cargo through 920 airlines, using 4,200 airports and deploying 27,000 aircraft.

Now in India, about 60 per cent of air traffic is being handled in airports under the Public Private Partnership model at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore and the rest 40 per cent, is with airports owned and operated by the Airports Authority of India.

To commemorate the centenary of civil aviation in India, the president released commemorative coins in the presence of Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan, civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi and International Civil Aviation Organisation chief Roberto Kobeh Gonzales.

More recent
Earlier on