Asia’s largest civil aviation event kickstarts at Hyderabad

The largest event in the Civil Aviation sector in Asia, the mesmerizing four-day “Wings India 24” extravaganza kickstarted in Hyderabad yesterday.

Spanning across commercial, general, and business aviation, the theme for the show is “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation @2047”.

Held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad, the inaugural session of the Global Aviation Summit was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Shri. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.

Inaugurating the event, Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia said, “The philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum” truly epitomizes the objectives of civil aviation connecting the world as one family while addressing local aspiration of the ordinary citizens to fly.”

The Union Minister said that Aviation sector is one of the key drivers of economic development and its growth in the emerging economies has been incredible.

The aviation economy provides significant economic and social benefits as it facilitates tourism, trade, connectivity, generates economic growth, provides jobs, and provide a lifeline for remote communities and enable a rapid response during unprecedented situations.

The Indian aviation sector symbolises 3As: Accessibility, Availability and Affordability.

Talking about India’s civil aviation growth story, the Minister said that India is the shining star in the Civil Aviation landscape.

“Total number of domestic pax rose from 60 million in 2014 to 143 million in 2020 growing at a CAGR of 14.5% and is expected to have crossed the figure of 150 million in 2023.

We are clocking more than 4.5 lakh Pax a day on a regular basis with a high of 4.67 lakh domestic passengers recently.

In the six years leading to FY 2020 the number of international passengers had also grown at CAGR of 6.1 per cent. Domestic Cargo volumes handled by Indian airports in the 15 years leading to FY 2019 increased by 60 per cent while international cargo volumes increased by 53 per cent.

Despite tremendous growth in recent times, India still remains highly under-penetrated market.

Even if, as per projections, the number of domestic passengers reaches 635 million by FY 2030, India will still be one of the least penetrated of the 20 largest markets.”, Shri Scindia said.

Shri Scindia talked about ensuring State of the Art Aviation Infrastructure for Amrit Kaal.

Under guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, we have already taken unprecedented steps across the spectrum to create capacities, remove bottlenecks and simplify processes and procedures and ensure that in 2047, India has an aviation system that supports a USD 20 Trillion economy.

We are not only focusing on airplanes and airports, but the development and enhancement of building a holistic airline ecosystem that has strong roots across the value chain.

As part of this vision, we have doubled number of Airports in the country in the last 9 years, increasing from 74 in 2014 to 149 now.

Government of India has so far accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up of 21 Greenfield Airports across the country out of which 12 Greenfield airports have been operationalised.

We are also working on Capacity Enhancement at our Metro Airports where our overall capacity is slated to rise from 221 MPPA currently to over 468 MPPA in the next decade or so.”, he informed.

The Minister said that under PMs Flagship scheme RCS-UDAN, 76 airports in Tier-3 and Tier-4 and other remote corner of the country have been operationalized, thus enhancing last mile connectivity.

“Over the past 6 years, UDAN has unlocked the true potential of our country by promoting tourism, boosting trade, and empowering local economies.

Airstrips and Airports languishing since 2nd World War have been transformed under this scheme and are now giving wings to flyers in the remotest parts of the country.

More than 1.32 Crore people have benefited from this scheme in more than 2.5 Lakh flights. We have also provided VGF of almost Rs 3,100 crores, awarded 1300 UDAN routes and operationalized 517 routes under the scheme.

To ensure seamless Last Mile Connectivity in the country we are also working promote growth of Helicopters and Small Aircrafts in India. We have conducted special UDAN rounds for Small Aircraft Schemes, Seaplane Routes and Helicopter Routes.

To enhance safety of helicopter operations and provide all-weather day/night access, we are working to rollout a helicopter specific low-level IFR route using GAGAN.

In addition to Aviation Infrastructure we are addressing issues of Capacity building across the value chain including Human Resources. We have liberalized policies so as to ensure adequate availability of Pilots, Cabin Crew, Engineers, etc. in the country.

We have substantially increased number of FTOs in the country which shall ensure adequate supply of trained resourced for the Industry.

We have been issuing record number of Commercial Pilot Licenses in the country over the last two years with the figure crossing 1,622 CPLs in 2023 which surpassed the previous best figure of 1165 CPLs clocked in 2022 by 40%.”, the Minister said.

Seven major announcements were made today at Wings India 2024:

  • Release of the joint knowledge paper on civil aviation by FICCI and KPMG 
  • Launch of UDAN 5.3
  • Launch of the Airbus-Air India Training Centre, with the purchase of more airplanes and the setting of a flight training center in Gurugram with 10 flight simulators and 10,000 pilots being trained in the coming years
  • Airbus manufacturing contracts with TATA ASL and Mahindra Aerospace Structures Pvt. Ltd. to foster more pilots.
  • GMR and IndiGo also signed a consortium to collaborate with multiple patterns in developing sustainable training in the aerospace industry
  • Inauguration of the GMR School of Aviation
  • Deal announcement of Akasa Air with a triple order of 200 aircrafts in a period of 17 months

The event was graced by Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Road Transport and Highways, Gen. (Retd) Dr. V.K. Singh, Minister of Road & Buildings and Cinematography, Government of Telangana, Shri Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri Asangba Chuba Ao.