On the completion of nine years of the Modi Government, Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia today shared the achievements of the Ministry of Civil Aviation in the last nine years in New Delhi. He said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the aviation sector which was only limited to a few is within the reach of the common man now.”
The Minister added that India is the 3rd largest domestic aviation market. The total number of domestic passengers in 2014 was 60 million which doubled to 143 million in 2020 before Covid-19. International passengers have increased from 43 million to 64 million (an increase of almost 50%). In terms of aircraft, the numbers have increased from around 400 in 2014 to 723 in 2023 despite the impact of Covid-19.
Till 2014, only 74 airports were operational in the country. By March 2023, the Government operationalized another 74 airports/ Helicopters/Water Aerodromes, and the Government of India aims to take the total to 220.
During the last 9 years, 11 more Greenfields airports have been operationalized. Under the UDAN scheme, 180 RCS airports including 25 Water Aerodromes & 40 Helipads have been identified for the operation of RCS flights in the country. As of now, out of 1152 valid awarded RCS routes, 475 RCS routes have commenced, connecting 74 airports including 9 Heliports & 2 Water Aerodromes.
121.67 lakh passengers have travelled under the RCS UDAN scheme and a VGF amount of around Rs. 2585.25 crores has been released to selected airline operators as of 11.4.2023 for the operation of RCS UDAN flights. Most recently, Udan 5.1 has been launched specifically for helicopter routes.
The number of Flying training organizations (FTOs) in June 2016 was 29. This number increased to 35 with 54 bases as of date. By December 2023, 9 more bases are likely to be added, taking the number of bases to 63. From fiscal year 2014-15 to 2019-20, the total cargo handled grew from 25.27 Lakh MT to 33.28 Lakh MT with a CAGR of 5.66% through cargo facilities at 24 AAI-managed airports and 6 JV/PPP airports.
Digi Yatra has been launched for domestic flight passengers. Digi Yatra is setting a new global benchmark for a seamless, hassle-free, and health-risk-free passenger process at airports. It was launched at 3 airports i.e. Delhi, Bengaluru & Varanasi on 1st December 2022, and at 4 airports namely, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, and Vijayawada in March 2023. Subsequently, it would be implemented across various airports in the country.
Responding to a query on the subject of airfares, the Minister informed about his meeting with Airline operators 2 days back which has resulted in a reduction in prices. The Minister said, “In the case of the unfortunate Odisha tragedy, airlines have been advised to provide free carriage (cargo) services to the families of the deceased”.
The Minister also explained that the role of the Ministry of Civil Aviation is of a facilitator, not a regulator.