The government plans to set up a civil aviation university at Fursatganj in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh to ''cater for to the growing need for skilled manpower in the civil aviation sector'', aviation minister Ajit Singh said on Wednesday.
Rae Bareli is incidentally the pocket constituency of the Gandhi family – so much so that even computer spellchecks recognise the proper noun.
"This will enhance our capacity to produce world class skilled manpower in the aviation sector," Singh said in his address at the inauguration of the India Aviation 2014 event in Hyderabad.
Singh said there was a huge untapped potential for the airline industry in India, its air traffic density - the number of people travelling by air per million of urban population - being much lower than that of countries like Sri Lanka.
"Air traffic density in India is 72 compared to China's 282, Brazil's 231, and Malaysia 1,225, let alone the United States' 2,896," he said.
The minister also said the government was keen on regional and remote area connectivity and had recently announced a regional and remote area air connectivity policy, which provides several financial and other concessions to those operating flights to airports in these places.
Talking of the government's efforts to have an industry-friendly policy, he said the biggest game changer for the sector in India had been the move to allow 49 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) by foreign airlines in Indian carriers.