'India to become 3rd largest aviation market in world by 2020'

At present, the Indian aviation market is witnessing 117 million domestic and 43 million international passengers.

PTI| Updated: Dec 14, 2013, 21:27 PM IST

Bangalore: India is expected to become the third largest aviation market by in the world by 2020 after the US and China, Civil Aviation Secretary K N Shrivastava said here Saturday.

"India is among the fastest growing and currently the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world," he said, speaking at an event here to rename Bengaluru International airport as Kempegowda international airport.

Shrivastava said the country's aviation market is expected to see a major upsurge in traffic in the next 10 years, with 337 million domestic and 84 million international passengers.

At present, the Indian aviation market is witnessing 117 million domestic and 43 million international passengers, he added.

"India's domestic aviation market is the second highest growing market in the world after China, and it is expected to become the third largest aviation market in the world after the US and China by 2020," he said.

Stating that Bangalore was fast emerging as the preferred investment destination for aviation business in the country, Shrivastava said.

"...Bangalore airport is one of the busiest and fastest growing airports in the country," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said "providing quality aviation infrastructure is the highest priority of his ministry and significant measures are being taken to provide affordable air connectivity".

Stating that the Planning Commission task force has provided the blueprint for robust expansion and modernisation of airports through PPP model across the country, he said "in line with the recommendations of the task force, the government has decided to operate, manage and develop 20 airports of Airports Authority of India under PPP mode."

"For effective operations and efficient management, these airports will be handed over to the private sector, the process of handing over six airports, including Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow, Ahmadabad, Jaipur and Guwahati, has already begun," the Civil Aviation Minister said.

"We have also started the process of development of low-cost airports across the country to provide efficient and affordable infrastructure for boosting connectivity," Singh said.

Bangalore International Airport was today renamed after its founder Kempegowda as 'Kempegowda International Airport'.

Kempegowda, feudatory of Vijayanagara Empire, had founded Bengaluru in 1537.

The newly constructed terminal at the airport was also inaugurated today. With its inaguration, the total area is gone up to 1.5 million square feet. It will have 86 check-in counters, 24 departure emigration counters, 24 arrival immigration counters and 26 boarding gates.

Speaking to reporters after the inauguration, Bengaluru International Airport Managing Director G V Sanjay Reddy said, "We have created a master plan which will eventually lead us to having a total capacity of 55 million passengers per annum. Today's capacity is just around 13 million and with this terminal we have built a capacity of 20 million passengers."

"We need to build a second parallel runway and we need to build further terminals also. Those are currently under plan," he added.