Working on comprehensive plan for aviation sector: Minister

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Hyderabad, July 5 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that the government was working on a comprehensive plan for the aviation sector, with deliverables by 2035.

He said that the work was on to make a clear-cut road map for the aviation sector with the mission to make air travel accessible, affordable and comfortable.

The Minister was speaking after laying the foundation stone of Civil Aviation Research Organisation (CARO), being set up by the Airports Authority of India at an estimated cost of Rs 250 crore at Begumpet Airport here.

He said that one of the first orders issued by him as the Aviation Minister in May was to prepare a comprehensive plan for the sector with a vision and deliverables by 2035. He recalled that when he was the Power Minister, a new law was enacted and it resulted in creation of huge capacity. “We need the same thing in aviation but with a vision,” he said.

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Asserting that the aviation sector is expanding exponentially, he said that it was literally a boom period in the sector with every person being either an air passenger or an aspiring air passenger.

“Today, we are almost growing at 20 per cent. I am sure if we plan properly, we may grow at higher rate. But for that to happen, we have to create capacity. Infrastructure must be in line with the growing demand and that’s a big challenge,” said Prabhu.

Pointing out that land is not available for developing infrastructure, he suggested that one of the areas of research at CARO should be to develop infrastructure with less land.

“The organisation must focus on critical issues like safety, convenience of passengers and also on how we can make sure that we have more capacity with limited available resources,” he said.

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Stressing the need for research, the Minister said that search for solutions ends up in disaster in the absence of research.

He said that the government was also working on a cargo policy. “At night, when the airspace is not as busy as in the mornings, we can use the airspace for cargo,” he said.

Prabhu said that the research organisation should also plan, when the aviation sector grows, as to how manufacturing of aircraft could take place in India.

He said that manufacturing of not only wide-bodies aircraft but ancillary components should happen and it will open up huge job opportunities in India.

–IANS

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