India has the potential to emerge as the third largest aviation market by 2029, if only it could effectively tackle issues like airlines' debt crises and ensure affordable and sustainable connectivity for passengers and freight that are key to shaping the future of Indian civil aviation, Dr Rafael Echevarne, director, economics and programme development, Airports Council International (ACI), said today.
Industry captains attending the second day of the business session at the `India Aviation 2012' at Hyderabad, today discussed the 'Roadmap for Civil Aviation: Turbulence and Recovery'.
Dr Echevarne highlighted the growth trajectory of aviation in India during the last five years, in which the country improved its rank from 101st in 2007 to 12th in 2010 in terms of airport maintenance, traffic handling and passenger facilities. In order to sustain this, India would require putting in place a regulatory framework that encourages investment, ensures safety and facilitates development of tourism, he said.
Emphasising on restoring Indian Aviation competitiveness during his keynote address Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), suggested that airlines' purchases should be aligned with international principles. In addition he recommended infrastructure expansion, rationalization of airport charges, investment policies, which enable 49 per cent direct investment by foreign carriers.
The formation of a civil aviation policy by the government in consultation with the industry stakeholders towards would go a long way in the growth of the industry, according to Amber Dubey, director aviation, KPMG, which is the knowledge partner of India Aviation 2012.
He said initiatives like formulation of an air cargo promotion policy, proposal to set up a full-fledged aviation university and investments in MRO hubs are positive steps taken by the government. He added that there is an urgent need to develop no-frill airports in tier 2 and 3 cities in keeping with the potential increase in air passengers in India.
Dr Nasim Zaidi, secretary in the ministry of civil aviation released two knowledge reports on Indian civil aviation industry titled 'India: The Emerging Aviation Hub' by KPMG and 'Economic Benefits from Air Transport in India' by Oxford Economics.