Aviation opportunities galore, so are challenges — Praful Patel

By R. Chandrakanth

The Minister for Civil Aviation, Praful Patel has said that passenger growth is expected to double from almost 50 million in the near future and that this presented enormous challenges, along with the opportunities that existed.

Addressing an international seminar on "India: Emerging Aviation Hub", organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Minister said that India will be among the fastest growing markets. The aviation scenario in India encompassed growth of airlines; expanding airports; MRO operations; training etc and the pie was getting larger.

Mr. Patel said that in the next 15 to 20 years, about 400 airports in the country would be operational as per the plans of multiple aviation infrastructure. "One Terminal 3 (Indira Gandhi International Airport), one Bangalore, one Hyderabad is not going to change the aviation scenario in India. That is why we pushed for Navi Mumbai airport and we will give a similar push for Pune."

The well-attended seminar had experts from the low-cost airline industry; express courier; cargo; airports authority etc discussing the challenges that the country needed to deal with. There was consensus that while there has been substantial growth, there needed to be cohesiveness and an integrated approach to manage the growth efficiently.