Domestic air passengers to triple to 218 mn by 2025: report

The number of air travellers in the country is estimated to rise more than three-fold to 218 million by 2025 from 70 million in 2015 while the domestic fleet strength to rise more than threefold to 1,084 by 2025 from 394 in 2015 and further to 2,564 by 2035.

Incoming international traffic to the country would go up to 120 million by 2025, up from 51 million by the turn of 2015, and would further jump to 254 million by 2035, according to the report commissioned by Vistara airline and conducted by industry body Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

The domestic passenger traffic load would stand at 527 million by 2035. This would mean the existing airports in the metros would not be able to meet the rising demand.

Each metro would then require a second greenfield airport to handle the traffic, the report says.

According to the report, aviation can contribute 5 per cent to the country's GDP or $250 billion by 2025.

The report called for increasing investment in airport infrastructure, airspace management and skill development as the sector is going to witness massive demand by 2025, which would necessitate that each of the major metros would have to have a new second airport.

It said the incremental domestic traffic handled in the past 10 years was almost three times greater than in the previous 50 years.

The Vistara-CAPA report, titled Maximising the contribution of aviation to the economy, projected employment generation of over 2.3 million (both direct and indirect) by 2050. While the aviation sector today contributes just $23 billion to the GDP of the country, which is a tad over $2 trillion, it is close to 6 per cent of GDP in the US and over 27 per cent of Dubai's GDP, the report said.

However, the report calls for the setting up of an airports approval commission to determine what kind of airports the country requires, when and where they are required, how much capacity is necessary and the level of capex that should be invested in order to avoid an air traffic logjam with most of the existing metro airport infrastructure getting saturated in the next five years.