Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia, told the media that it is the peak time for the aviation sector and expects that the passenger traffic will touch 100 million this year.
He added that the aviation sector had 144 million passengers in India in 2018-19. The Ministry is expecting about 100 million this year, up from about 50 million in Covid-19 pandemic years and about 400 million by 2030.
He highlighted that capacity building at India’s airports is underway to ensure there would be no bottleneck in the next 2-3 years.
He added that more collaborations would happen in the coming years, along with capacity building by the domestic players. The aviation sector is expected to grow tremendously, along with the analogous sectors of the ecosystem, including manufacturing for aircraft in India.
About the regional air connectivity scheme Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN), he said PM Modi had done the greatest service to the transportation in India by democratising civil aviation. All the majors in aviation, such as Boeing, Airbus, and Lockheed Martin, are now manufactured in India, and the fuselage of the Apache helicopters is also made in India.
Scindia said that Indian aviation is between the nascency and growth phase, just entering the growth phase. The Ministry is looking at Sustainable Aviation Fuel as a substitute for Air Turbine Fuel (ATF), with the ambitious target of becoming net-zero by 2070 and adding 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
The civil aviation sector only composes 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. But the aviation sector is looking at sustainable aviation fuel as a substitute for ATF.
He highlighted two main hurdles of storage and logistics in aviation. It has already been decided that by the end of 2024, about 96 airports of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will operate 100% on renewable energy. The carbon mapping exercise for airports and building a green plan is ongoing.
Scindia considers bilateral relations between India and US, having strong ties, especially in the last 7-8 years. It has turned into a comprehensive, strategic relationship under the governance of PM Modi.