Major growth in aviation sector to come from tier II and tier III cities, says Scindia

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday said that major growth in aviation sector is to come from regional connectivity which is tier II and tier III cities.

“New growth areas are going to be from the regional spaces,” the minister said.

Speaking at the Business Today’s India @ 100 summit, Scindia said, “In 2013-14, India had 73-74 airports. Today in the span of eight years, we have built additional 67 airports, heliports and water aerodromes…”

On fleet size, the minister said that in the year 2013-14, India had roughly around 400 aircraft and today we are inching close to 700 aircraft.

He said that the government is working to boost the manpower and capabilities of safety and security regulators Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

“With the huge expansion we are seeing in the civil aviation sector, it is even more pertinent that we augment the staffing and capabilities of both DGCA and BCAS. That is something that I am working on as we speak,” he said.

Talking about expansion of Drone industry in the country, the minister said, “The creation of demand for ‘drones as a service’ is across 12 line ministries of the government of India. Agriculture Department is pushing the use of pesticides, the Rural Development Department is pushing the use of drones for Svamitva. The mines ministry is looking at using drones for exploration of mines. The power ministry is looking at inspection of transmission towers with drones as opposed to humans. That demand creation has also been done by the government.”

The minister also talked about the heavy taxations on Aviation Turbine Fuel that airlines have been battling.

“Fortunately, ATF prices have declined by 12 per cent in the last two weeks down to Rs 1,16,000 per kl and I hope to see that trend continuing,” he added.

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