India is projected to be the third largest aviation market by 2020 and is expected to cater to 60 million international passengers by 2017. This incredible growth is likely to see an investment of at least USD 12.1 billion for the period of 2012-17.

Twenty years ago, it was unimaginable for most Indians to fly. Arduous overnight bus rides or train journeys that lasted for hours were preferred over flights that lasted a fraction of the time. The high cost factor and lack of players in the sector made it an unaffordable luxury for most. And not a long time ago, in 1990, India had only two airlines in operation and 100 aircrafts were enough to cater to the demand. This is hardly adequate to cope with the current needs.

Needless to say, the civil aviation industry has grown phenomenally. Even poorly linked parts of India, such as the North East and Kashmir, have become more accessible thanks to air connectivity. In fact, civil aviation is a crucial cog in the wheel of India’s economic growth.

The country is projected to be the third largest aviation market by 2020 and is expected to cater to 60 million international passengers by 2017. This incredible growth is likely to see an investment of at least USD 12.1 billion for the period of 2012-17.

Infrastructure in the sector has also grown - The number of operational airports have increased from 50 in 2000 to 82 in 2010, while the country has plans to increase this number to 250 by 2030. There has been a similar surge in the volume of air cargo.

Civil-aviation

Helping the sector stay top-flight

This ever increasing growth will require robust infrastructure such as control towers, airfields and well equipped telecommunication systems among other things. A highly skilled and well trained workforce to support this infrastructure will be crucial. Technicians, crew members, pilots, operators will be just a few of the vital players who will need support and training. Continual and regular training will be required to ensure the work force is competent, up-to-date with technology and other industry developments.

This vast need for training can be bridged through international players with ample experience in the sector. Canada, for example with its stellar reputation in trade and training experience has the resources to provide both infrastructure and training.

Civilian drones are interesting upcoming area with many possibilities in civilian aviation. They can be used for geographical mapping, conservation and agriculture among other things.

An indispensable part of India’s economy, the aviation sector provides an opportunity for growth that cannot be missed.

Elizabeth Raj | Blogger- Arsha Consulting

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