Indian aviation sector to see investments worth NR 98,000 crore over next 4 years

The civil aviation sector, which was significantly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is on the recovery path and domestic passenger traffic is slowly touching the pre-pandemic levels. On April 17, the domestic air passenger traffic crossed the 4 lakh mark for the first time in two years.

The country’s airport sector is expected to see investments worth INR 1.65 lakh crore, including from private players, in the coming years, and the government also aims to have 200 airports, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Thursday, April 21.

Indian aviation sector to see investments worth NR 98,000 crore over next 4 years

About capital expenditure plans, Scindia said, “we have a plan of close to INR 98,000 crore over the next four years to be deployed in the area of airports alone”.

Out of the total amount, INR 25,000 crore would be from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and INR 22,000 crore would be for the expansion of airports and the building of new terminals.

The non-public sector is predicted to spend INR 67,000 crore on the seven privately run airports aside from greenfield initiatives in Navi Mumbai, Goa and Greater Noida.

The non-public sector is predicted to spend INR 67,000 crore on the seven privately run airports aside from greenfield initiatives in Navi Mumbai, Goa and Greater Noida.

Emphasising that rapid expansion is going to take place, the minister said the plan is to have close to 200 airports in the country. The largest airports in India will add a passenger dealing with capability of 250 million in the following few years, he added.

“We had 74 airports before 2014 in 70 years of India’s independence and the last 8 years, we have built 67 airports… it is my intention, by the way, to take it close to 200 airports in India, and therefore you want to see a rapid expansion of airport infrastructure networks,” he noted.

Further, Scindia mentioned a new policy for smaller aircraft to encourage regional transport aircraft and helicopters and seaplanes.

INR 25,000 crore would be from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and INR 22,000 crore would be for the expansion of airports and the building of new terminals

“So, I want to connect the last mile, there’s enough of connectivity coming in from international metros to metros domestically but I want to connect tier 2 to 3 cities to metros and each other. So, I am looking at a very, very aggressive plan over the next three to four years,” he said.

Amid the high growth potential in the country’s aviation space, a new airline Akasa is expected to take to the skies in the coming months and the now-shuttered Jet Airways is also anticipated to restart operations.

Akasa and Jet Airways are expected to start operations before the end of this financial year, the minister said. In March, around 1.06 crore domestic passengers travelled by air, as per official data.

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