‘India plans to invest $120b in airport infrastructure’
India is planning to invest over $120 billion (Dh440.4 billion) in the development of airport infrastructure and aviation navigation services over the next decade with the civil aviation sector poised for fast growth, said President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.
Inaugurating India Aviation 2016 here, he said the sector is poised for a faster and sustainable growth with the development of 100 smart cities; new economic corridors; more than 50 new airports and expansion of existing airports. "The deeper air penetration to smaller cities; better connectivity to northeastern part of India; higher disposable incomes of the middle class of India is expected to further propel the growth of Indian civil aviation industry," he said.
Mukherjee noted that India registered a growth of 14 per cent in civil aviation sector during the last decade. With foreign direct investment (FDI) in air transport during the last 15 years touched the mark of $570 million, he said India continues to be a favourite destination for foreign investors in civil aviation sector. The government has allowed FDI through the automatic route to the tune of 100 per cent in green field airports; helicopter services and seaplanes; maintenance and repair organisations and flying training institutes. He also pointed out that 49 per cent FDI is allowed through the automatic route for domestic scheduled passenger airlines and ground handling services.
"The open sky policy; greater focus on infrastructure development; liberal FDI norms; robust technical and engineering capabilities; assured supply of skilled workforce in information technology and communication network has opened the doors to global players. He called upon the global giants to seize this opportunity and take lead to forge long-term partnerships. He also noted Indian civil aviation market is growing at a rapid pace and now ranks ninth in the world.