'Country to be second largest air traffic mkt in a decade'

'Country to be second largest air traffic mkt in a decade' Nagpur: The open air policy of the government has helped achieve higher growth in the aviation sector and the country is going to be the second largest air traffic market in the world, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said on Sunday.

Stating that the domestic carriers flew close to 162 million passengers in 2011-12, up from 143 million in 2010-11, he called for more investments in the aviation infra sector, especially from private sector and hinted that the government may hand over the operations and management of the Kolkata and Chennai airports to private parties in a PPP model.

Singh was in the city to unveil a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar at the city's international airport named after him in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan and a host of ministers.

Quoting IATA (International Air Transport Association) data, Singh said the country will be second largest air passenger traffic market in the world within a decade. He also said within the same time, the number of international air passengers entering the country will be 84 millions while the domestic passengers will jump to 336 millions.

On launching more international flights from Nagpur, Singh said soon the city will be linked with some more cities besides Sharjah.

On the occasion, Chavan said his government is committed to develop the multi-modal international cargo and passengers hub in city and is looking for a partner.

PTI