A dream coming true
motion of aviation academies, and supportive policies for airlines and tourism. West Bengal was the first large state to declare zero per cent sales tax on ATF at its regional airports and 15 per cent sales tax on ATF used by additional flights at Kolkata Airport.
Much needs to be done, as several Tier II & III cities are still unconnected or underserved. These involve relaxation on regulations, revising the security requirements, allowing domestic code sharing, providing free or discounted utilities and connecting infrastructure.
Airports Authority of India has developed and upgraded 60 airports which include 35 airports in major cities and 25 airports in Tier II & III cities. In 2013-14, new terminals were commissioned in Chennai, Kolkata, Kadappa, Gondia (Module-II) Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and Goa. A new civil enclave was constructed at Bikaner Airport. Besides, AAI also completed the expan-
Ision and upgradation of two metro airports in Kolkata and Chennai at a cost of ` 2,325 crore and ` 2,015 crore, respectively.
Annual cargo handling capacity and efficiency of operations at Chennai Airport was augmented to handle overall 11 lakh tonnes of cargo with the construction of a modern import cargo complex equipped with automatic storage retrieval system at a cost of ` 144 crore.
Overall, in order to become a top aviation market, all-round improvements are required–in airports, air navigation, cargo, MRO, general aviation and human resource development. ndia's current MRO (maintenance-repair-overhaul) market size is estimated to be around $700 million. By 2020, the total Indian fleet would double in number, making it critical to have a strong domestic MRO industry, the FICCI-KPMG report felt. According to industry sources, merely 5-10 per cent of the MRO work for domestic scheduled carriers is carried out in India, while most of the maintenance activities are outsourced to third-party service providers outside the country. An inter-ministerial task force on MRO needs to be formed immediately by the government to check the outflow of MRO revenue, foreign exchange and jobs.