Home Economy India’s civil aviation offers $300 bn investment opportunity

India’s civil aviation offers $300 bn investment opportunity

By Mohammed Shafeeq, IANS,

Hyderabad : India’s aviation sector offers investment opportunity of $200 billion to $300 billion by 2020, and it is confident of overcoming the “temporary hurdles” to continue the growth, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said here Wednesday.

The tremendous investment opportunities are in various aspects of aviation like purchase of new aircraft, replacing the existing fleet, building infrastructure and improving navigation systems.

Inaugurating India Aviation-2008, India’s first civil aviation show at Begumpet Airport, he called upon the investors to look at the vast business opportunities the Indian aviation industry offers.

Patel said the business opportunities in other facets of aviation like helicopter tourism, sea tourism and business aviation have to be explored.

The minister said India was also ready to be part of the growth of global aviation and integrate with European Union and the US.

India Aviation, the first exposition, demonstration and conference of its kind, is showcasing the opportunities, potential and strength in India’s civil aviation sector.

Patel said only three percent of India’s population fly once a year and if this becomes 10 percent, the sector would require many more new players and investment of trillions of dollars.

He exuded confidence that India’s aviation sector would be counted among top three or four in the world.

Claiming that the sector made tremendous progress from 2004 when it had only 100 planes, he said the the present size of Indian carriers made everybody recognise that Indian aviation was here to stay and grow.

Referring to the issues facing the sector, he said they would have to be addressed in a time-bound manner. He said aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was one of primary issues which has to be addressed immediately.

Assuring full assistance to the aviation companies, he also promised to address the regulatory issues.

Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhvavan Nambiar noted that in a short time India has become ninth biggest aviation market in the world.

He said the sector recorded significant growth during last couple of years. The passenger traffic grew from 48.8 million 2003-04 to 118 million in 2007-08.

“Currently, there are 350 aircraft for general aviation but there is a market for
1,000 aircraft by 2020. The current fleet replacement offers an opportunity of $80 billion while $30 billion are required for development of airport infrastructure by 2020,” Nambiar said.

He said the global financial crisis was bound to have some effect on the sector which was already suffering from high ATF prices. “We are confident that these are temporary hurdles and we will definitely cross them,” he said.

Top honchos of 35 major global aviation companies and ministerial-level delegations from 17 countries will participate in the four-day conference, jointly organised by the ministry of civil aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), with the US being the partner country.

More than 200 exhibitors from leading aviation and allied industries from around the world including Airbus, Boeing, EADS, HAL, BES, Rolls Royce, Engine Alliance, Cessna Aircraft Company, Bell Helicopter, Textron, ATR and Bombardier are participating in the exhibition.