From Chair­man’s Desk

Airports India - - NEWS -

Dear Read­ers,

In­dia has wit­nessed tremen­dous growth in air traf­fic in the last decade and we are the fastest grow­ing avi­a­tion mar­ket with 21% plus growth in the do­mes­tic sec­tor in 2015-16. Growth of over 7% in­ter­na­tional as well as con­sis­tent do­mes­tic growth is ex­pected in the com­ing years. The Na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Pol­icy (NCAP) re­leased re­cently by the Govern­ment is likely to pro­pel the In­dian avi­a­tion fur­ther by tak­ing fly­ing to the masses. Proac­tive pol­icy is ex­pected to be the ‘game Changer’ and would give mo­men­tum and im­pe­tus to the civil avi­a­tion sec­tor in the coun­try. The main fo­cus of NCAP 2016 is on af­ford­abil­ity, con­nec­tiv­ity and ease of do­ing busi­ness in In­dia through sev­eral pol­icy ini­tia­tives and fis­cal & mon­e­tary sup­port. The re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity scheme (RCS) un­der the pol­icy is de­signed to con­nect In­dia’s re­mote un­con­nected re­gions and pro­vide a boost to tourism. The de­vel­op­ment of the air­ports in the re­mote re­gions will help in cre­at­ing more jobs and stim­u­lat­ing the econ­omy in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and coun­try as a whole. Sub-sec­tors like MRO, Cargo, heli­copters, gen­eral avi­a­tion and Make in In­dia etc will get a fil­lip with lib­er­alised op­er­a­tional norms and tax breaks. The much talked about 5/20 rule has been re­placed with 0/20, which will def­i­nitely boost air op­er­a­tions be­yond the bor­ders.

On one of the other fronts, Govern­ment of In­dia took the proac­tive step of ap­prov­ing the con­sti­tu­tion of a Na­tional High Level Airspace Pol­icy Body and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Flex­i­ble Use of Airspace in In­dia in a Re­gional Con­fer­ence held in May in New Delhi. The Re­gional Con­fer­ence was at­tended by In­ter­na­tional Par­tic­i­pants from var­i­ous coun­tries, ICAO, IATA be­sides In­dian avi­a­tion fra­ter­nity. The con­fer­ence pro­vided a col­lec­tive plat­form for brain­storm­ing so as to share and dis­cuss the global best prac­tices. The meet­ing of minds al­lowed to re­visit and re-en­gi­neer es­tab­lished poli­cies thereby pro­vid­ing more ef­fi­cient ways for im­ple­men­ta­tion of Flex­i­ble Use of Airspace and pro­vid­ing a fil­lip to Civil Mil­i­tary Co­op­er­a­tion. The Flex­i­ble Use of Airspace un­der Civil Mil­i­tary Co­op­er­a­tion has fa­cil­i­tated in­tro­duc­tion of sev­eral con­di­tional routes which pro­vide for shorter and di­rect rout­ing through re­stricted airspaces with the co­op­er­a­tion of IAF, Navy and HAL. It is prob­a­bly one of the few ini­tia­tives that in one stroke has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to Safety, Ef­fi­ciency, Ca­pac­ity and En­vi­ron­ment, the main fo­cus ar­eas of ICAO. I am glad to share that ICAO, in a state­ment has ob­served that In­dia has per­formed cred­itably in Civil Mil­i­tary Co­op­er­a­tion and that ICAO rec­og­nizes the ex­cel­lent work in progress. AAI be­ing the largest air­port op­er­a­tor and the sole author­ity re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the whole of the In­dian airspace has played prime role in syn­er­giz­ing Civil Mil­i­tary Co­op­er­a­tion.

On the in­fra­struc­ture front, AAI has taken ma­jor steps in up­grad­ing the Air Nav­i­ga­tion Ser­vices, ground in­fra­struc­ture and airspace re­struc­tur­ing to en­hance the safety, ca­pac­ity and ef­fi­ciency of airspace and air­ports. One of the ma­jor steps taken re­cently is “Up­per Airspace Har­mo­niza­tion”. It en­ables safe and more ef­fi­cient use of air space be­sides pro­vid­ing straighter routes re­sult­ing in lesser fly­ing time of the air­craft thereby saving fuel and re­duc­ing emis­sions. The up­per air space har­mo­niza­tion has been en­abled by de­ploy­ment of ad­vance tech­nol­ogy in form of over­lap­ping sur­veil­lance cover through Radar/ads-b/mul­ti­lat­er­a­tion com­bined with match­ing seam­less air-ground com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Au­to­ma­tion sys­tems. This has re­sulted in seam­less con­nec­tiv­ity through­out In­dian air space. Re­sults ob­served on air­lines get­ting their pre­ferred route, flight lev­els and car­bon emis­sion con­trol after the de­ploy­ment of new sys­tems are very pos­i­tive.

As a Chi­nese proverb goes, “A jour­ney of a thou­sand miles be­gins with a sin­gle step”. The above steps would cer­tainly con­trib­ute in mak­ing In­dia move to­wards one of the best air trans­porta­tion ser­vice providers in the world. With In­dia aim­ing to be the 3rd largest Civil Avi­a­tion Mar­ket by 2022 from 9th at present, AAI rec­og­nizes the need to strive for the high­est stan­dards in ev­ery field.

En­joy read­ing.

Sud­hir Ra­heja, Chair­man, AAI

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