A sum of $10 billion would be spent in next five years to develop airport infrastructure in India so that the country could become the world’s third largest aviation market in seven years, Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey has said.
Addressing a day-long India Aviation Summit, Choubey said the Civil Aviation Ministry was determined to maintain the ‘historic’ 23% growth rate achieved in the aviation sector in the country.
“$10 billion would be spent in next five years to develop airport infrastructure. Our aim is to become the third largest aviation market in the next seven years. We are determined to stay ahead of the growth curve,” he said.
India’s nearest rival in terms of aviation growth was China with 14%.
Progressive and proactive industry-friendly policies played a significant part in Indian aviation’s growth story and not just the fall in fuel prices, Choubey remarked.
“For the first time, the civil aviation sector has achieved rail parity. While the railways turnover is Rs 1.6 lakh crore, civil aviation turnover touched Rs 1.4 lakh crore and the number of rail and air passengers has also become almost equal,” Choubey pointed out.
“Civil aviation is now just as popular and just as necessary. Airfares are now comparable to air-conditioned train fares. No one could imagine subsidy for air travel but under the RAC Scheme, we have been extending 50-60% viability gap funding,” he added.