New Delhi. 25 January, 2016. Airport Authority of India has planned an expenditure of about Rs. 20 thousand crores, spread over Aerodrome schemes amounting to around Rs. 18000 crores, Information Technology upgradation by Rs. 128 crores, Airport Systems by Rs. 865 crores, Air Navigation Services another Rs. 550 plus crores and for Ground Safety and Security Equipment Rs. 515 crores will be required to be spent.

Union Minister of Civil Aviation  P. Ashok Gajapathi  Raju has called upon various stakeholders to come out with new ideas on air services development for improved air services delivery , while inaugurating the Airport Marketing Conference on Air Services Development. The Minister said India is on the path of growth providing immense economic opportunities. He said that along with growth of air passenger traffic, growth of air cargo traffic also needs to be given due importance. The Minister added that there is need to plan for the future while deriving inspiration from the past.

Addressing the conference Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that with strong middle income group India has strong potential for growth of air services and effective marketing plays an important role in this regard. Highlighting the importance of aviation sector for growth of tourism he said it is high time that the air connectivity is further improved. He urged all departments to make joint efforts for improving air services delivery.

Speaking on the occasion Director General Civil Aviation,  M. Sathiyavathy said that considering the security scenario, business can be generated only through passengers who use airports. She emphasized on ensuring maximum use of airports and passenger requirements are taken into account. She underlined that proper and trained manpower should be there for management of airports.

The one day conference is deliberating on key issues on Air Services Development, leading to improved service delivery in regional and remote air connectivity, making aviation economically and environmentally sustainable, providing the much needed impetus for the air cargo industry and improving commercial parameters so that airports qualify to be independent cost units and profit making centers.

R.K.Srivastava, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that despite the projected growth, India remains the least penetrative market with 0.4 trips per capita per annum compared to 2 in USA. He said India has strong 300 million middle income group with disposable income to travel at least once in a year by air. Stating that India’s strong economic growth projections are likely to ensure the sustenance of traffic trends both in the passenger and cargo, he said AAI is working zealously towards enhancing the capacity to meet the projected growth.

He said in the recent years, AAI has completed the development of 33 airports. Of these the capacity at 10 airports which was enhanced to 30 million passengers per annum has already reached the levels of saturation and requires further augmentation. Giving further details he said the available terminal capacity as on date is 250 million of which capacity utilized is only 190 million. However, the capacity required in the next ten years with the present trend of growth is 572 million. It would require creation of an additional capacity of 222 million. The AAI has already initiated the process of engaging the PMC for development of 11 airports namely Agartala, Guwahati, Srinagar, Lucknow, Pune, Patna, Trichy, Chennai, Leh, etc.