Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tueday said that the Indian aviation sector will emerge as the top aviation market globally by the turn of the decade, surpassing the US and China on most parameters.

However, challenges for the sector are in setting up world-class infrastructure ahead of the curve, supplies from airframe and engine makers, and lack of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities.

At present, India is the world’s third-largest civil aviation market. “India has big ambitions to expand air connectivity, which is still beyond the reach of a significant chunk of the population. We have all ingredients in place, and huge demand in domestic and international sectors is expected,” he said, adding that “there is no missing piece in the puzzle”, he said in the context of the growth.

Speaking about airports at major metro cities, he said they are expected to have a total passenger handling capacity of 500 million in the coming years.

He said Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are expanding, boosting this growth. At the moment, airports at these metros will soon have a total passenger handling capacity of around 320 million in the near future.

“By the turn of the decade, we should be at the pole position… two countries are ahead of us in many parameters, but in seven years, we should be able to beat them,” he noted.


However, he noted that there were a few challenges for the sector, which need to be addressed as they pose to be a dampener for the growth of the industry. The challenges, according to him are in setting up world class infrastructure ahead of the curve, supplies from airframe and engine makers, and lack of MROs (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facilities.

Divestment plans

The government had plans to divest Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL). Sharing an update on the same, he said that it is under process and would be completed soon. AIESL provides engineering services to Air India. 

Sharing the progress of the divestment, he said that AIESL now has a healthy balance sheet and once the divestment process is over, Indian aviation industry will benefit from it.