Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said recently that India would become the second-largest air traffic market in the world within a decade as the government has adopted an open air policy. Speaking at the official inauguration of the new airport at Nagpur in Maharashtra, named the Dr BR Ambedkar International Airport, he said domestic carriers flew close to 162 million passengers in 2011-12, up from 143 million in 2010-11.
The Minister called for more investment in aviation infrastructure, especially from the private sector, to help reach the government’s ambition of making India an aviation hub. The government may hand over the operation and management of the Kolkata and Chennai airports to private companies under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, he added.
Singh, quoting International Air Transport Association (IATA) data, said the country will be the second-largest air passenger traffic market in the world within a decade; and in the same time, the number of international air passengers entering the country will be 84 million while the volume of domestic passengers will jump to 336 million.
Nagpur will soon be linked with more cities besides Sharjah, the Minister added. Maharashtra Minister Chavan said his government is committed to develop the multi-modal international cargo and passenger hub in Nagpur and is looking for a private partner.