India has potential to become global aviation hub: Vice President

New Delhi, December 06, 2018: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has the potential to become global aviation hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the first International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore and laying foundation stone for the Integrated Passenger Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport, in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh today.

The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri Jayant Sinha, the Minister for Finance, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Y. Ramakrishnudu, the Minister for Law, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Kollu Ravindra and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that the International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore that would further enhance the connectivity as well as Andhra Pradesh’s business and tourism potential. He further said that the state of the art new terminal will spread in 35000 Sqm is being developed with Rs 611 crores budget to handle 1200 passengers per day with 24 Check-in counters and 8 gates. The terminal would also accommodate parking facility for 1250 four wheelers, he said. A total of 14 immigration counters, 3 customs counters, 5 baggage belts would be installed for the convenience of international and domestic passengers, he added.

The Vice President said that the new Air connectivity between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore would increase India’s reach in South East Asia. Andhra Pradesh would become aviation gateway between the two prospering regions and it will boost tourism, he added.

The Vice President tasked the state government to actively promote tourism especially the Budhist Circuit along with other tourist attractions in the state.

Shri Naidu appreciated the efforts of the State and Central governments in facilitating the state of Andhra Pradesh with Air Connectivity under UDAAN Scheme. He said that the scheme would enable greater connectivity between Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Chennai.

The Vice President said that the recent aviation initiatives such as development of Vizag Airport at the cost of 90 Crores, extension of runway at Rajahmundry Airport at the cost of 125 Crore and extension of runway at Tirupati Airport at the cost of 114 Crore would give philip to the growth prospects of the state.

Shri Naidu also appreciated the authorities for adopting an eco friendly infrastructure in constructing the new integrated terminal at Vijayawada Airport. He said that the features such as Rain Water Harvesting, double insulated roofing, LED lighting would conserve energy and reduce wastage of water.

Calling aviation sector as the backbone of the global transport system, Shri Naidu said that was indeed an important driver of the economy and the most vital sector for linking businesses, bringing people together and promoting tourism worldwide. Growth in aviation sector would yield positive results in promoting connectivity and creating jobs, he added.

Shri Naidu said that the government has taken a series of measures to improve infrastructure and regional air connectivity in the country and added that schemes such as UDAN would develop regional connectivity and promote economically viable flights on regional routes.

The Vice President called upon State Governments to partner with the Centre in a true ‘Team India’ spirit for building a new prosperous, inclusive New India by creating the right ecosystem for the growth of various sectors. The political differences between parties must end with elections and focus should be given to governance after assuming power, he added.

The Vice President said that increase in public investments in infrastructure projects of aviation and other areas were contributing in overall development of economy. Indian economy which is growing at a steady pace and the systemic governance reforms are helping to create a more inclusive society, he added.

Shri Naidu said that India has the potential to become a global hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs.

The Vice President said that the 14.1 per cent growth over the last five years in passenger traffic was a key indicator of its progress and said that reforms, systematic development of the sector would make a global hub for MRO. I do understand that in spite of the growth in passenger traffic, some of the airlines are facing problems and I do hope that things would improve soon for them, he added.

“I am extremely delighted to be here for the Bhoomi Puja to construct an Integrated Passenger Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport and also inaugurate the first international flight from Vijayawada to Singapore.

Vijayawada located on the banks of river Krishna is indeed a blessed city with a great cultural history. As the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is politically active, agriculturally-rich and also an industrial transportation hub.

Consequent to the Andhra Pradesh State Re-organization Act 2014, Amaravati, which is adjoining Vijayawada, is being developed as the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Inauguration of the new international flight from this great city to Singapore would further enhance its connectivity as also its business and tourism potential.

Infrastructure is vital for development and the Union Government is bestowing special attention on the aviation sector in this regard. Public investments in infrastructure projects of aviation and other areas also have increased substantially.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, India is in the midst of an unprecedented economic and social transformation. The economy is growing at a steady pace and the systemic governance reforms are helping to create a more inclusive society. Most of the multilateral institutions have forecast that India will grow at more than 7 percent in 2018 and 2019, ahead of other major economies.

Friends, as you all are aware the aviation sector not only plays a key role in promoting connectivity and creating jobs but is also an important driver of the economy. As the backbone of the global transport system, it indeed is the most vital sector for linking businesses, bringing people together and promoting tourism worldwide.

I am happy to note that the proposed new Integrated Terminal Building is planned by incorporating Green Building features such as the use of Eco friendly sustainable building material i.e. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified woodwork with Green Construction Management, LED Lighting control through Building management system(BMS), Solar photo voltaic system, Energy efficient E&M equipment, sensor based Water Fixtures, Waste water management and Solid waste management with membrane bioreactor (MBR) based sewage treatment plant (STP )

Recognizing the growing importance of the aviation sector, the Government has taken a series of measures to improve infrastructure and regional air connectivity in the country. The UDAN scheme aims to develop regional connectivity and promote economically viable flights on regional routes.

The Indian civil aviation industry is growing at a rapid pace and considered to be the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world. According to projections, it is poised to become the world’s largest domestic civil aviation market in the next 10 to 15 years. Investments to the tune of Rs.1 lakh crore are expected in the next five years.

The passenger traffic which witnessed 14.1 per cent growth over the last five years is likely to touch about 400 million by the year 2020.

Of course, I do understand that in spite of the growth in passenger traffic, some of the airlines are facing problems and I do hope that things would improve soon for them according to pib.nic.in.

India also has the potential to become a global hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs.

We are also among a few countries in the world which took bold steps of privatizing the industry.

The global airlines body, International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected the Asia-Pacific region to be the driver of the passenger growth with more than half the total number of new passengers coming from these markets over the next 20 years.

The present global trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037 and this doubling of air passengers could support 100 million jobs globally, according to IATA.

My compliments to Government of India for the sincere efforts to provide air connectivity and to make air travel accessible to citizens in the regionally important cities, through the ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ (UDAN) under Regional Connectivity Scheme.

The National Civil Aviation Policy unveiled in 2016 has mentioned that if every Indian in the middle class income bracket takes just one fight a year, it would result in a sale of 35 crore tickets.

It should be noted that the growth of the aviation sector will have a multiplier effect on the Indian economy as it would positively impact hospitality and tourism sectors, among others.

I would like various State Governments to partner with the Centre in a true ‘Team India’ spirit for building a new prosperous, inclusive New India by creating the right ecosystem for the growth of various sectors. Political differences should end with elections

In the end, I would appeal to all airlines and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to accord highest priority to passengers’ safety, timely operations, efficient cargo handling and improving amenities to passengers.

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