New Delhi. 16 August 2019. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/c) for Civil Aviation, Housing & Urban Affairs inaugurated a Roundtable Conference on ‘Regional Cooperation: Neighbourhood First- Aviation Infrastructure, Connectivity & Capacity Building’ here last evening. The Event organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation(MoCA) in partnership with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) focussed on the opportunities available and the solutions that are on offer for enhancing cooperation in the critical areas like airport infrastructure development; increasing air connectivity; and collaborations for capacity building in the region.
Heads of Missions from 11 APAC countries, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, MoCA, T. S. Tirumurti, Secretary – ER, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and senior officials from Government of India and industry also attended the event.
Addressing the gathering, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(I/c) for Civil Aviation said, “Indian Aviation Industry has been instrumental in the overall economic development of the country. The aviation sector growth in the region has thrown up tremendous opportunity and challenges to India and other countries in the region. India as a State has been working with zeal to create infrastructure in Air Transport and Air Navigation Services. The high-quality airport infrastructure, growing economy and necessary Government support, adds to the potential of India becoming a global aviation hub. India would be keen to offer solutions and support for aviation infrastructure, connectivity & capacity building to its immediate neighbourhood”.
Pradeep Singh Kharola – Secretary, MoCA, Government of India pointed out that Indian aviation sector has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. It was now in a position to support the regional cooperation operatives from the South Asian and South East Asian countries with rigorous inputs and engagements to upgrade infrastructure, build capacity and develop air connectivity and people to people linkages through technology transfers, capacity creation and sharing of know-how – in the infrastructure, technology and the capacity building fronts.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) – a Government of India Enterprise under MoCA had proven credentials as a leading Civil Aviation Company in India, with world class infrastructure, cutting edge aviation technology for capacity & safety of airspace, across Asia and Africa. It was followed by Stakeholders’ Discussion and Special Briefing by Ambassadors / High Commissioners of the member countries of Asia Pacific Region..
The roundtable was significant as it highlighted key opportunities that could strengthen regional and bilateral partnerships. It was noted that Regional air connectivity and the development of aviation infrastructure and services amongst the nations in the South Asian and South East Asian region is a key driver for the increased growth of regional partnerships and development. India and its regional neighbours already share multiple lines of credit that cover projects in areas of airports and aviation, port construction, railways, roads, power & energy, telecommunications, and shipping etc.