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Aviation industry in India growing faster

Recent opening of the College of Aeronautical Engineering in Guwahati, has been welcomed by the people of the state, which has brought the hope to bring the country at par with others, providing better educational facilities and encouraging the youths to build up their career in aviation. For them the sky is not at distance. There is no dearth of meritorious young men in this part of the country. The lack of such facilities has so far been the main obstacle before them to decide a suitable career.

Earlier, air travel was a privilege only a few could afford, but with the commencement of operations by the low cost careers, now large number of people can afford air travel. At present Indian aviation industry is one of the fastest growing aviation industries in the world. With the liberalization of the Indian aviation sector, aviation industry has undergone a rapid transformation. From being primarily a government owned industry, the Indian aviation industry is now dominated by private owned airlines who now account for around 75 percent share of the domestic aviation market.

India has 454 airports and airstrips. Of these, 16 are designed international airports. Airport infrastructure is being developed at a fast pace to cope up with the growth of air transport operations. Mumbai and Delhi airports have already been privatized and are being upgraded at an estimated investment of 4 billion US dolors by 2016. A simultaneous operation from parallel runways having facilities for category 3B level operations has now become a reality. Chennai and Kolkata airports are undergoing major development and modernization work. Greenfield airports developed by private consortia at Bangalore and Hyderabad are now operational involving a total investment of over 800 million US dolors. Another Greenfield airport at Navi Mumbai is planned to be developed in the near future. 35 other airports are undergoing up gradation. Guwahati airport is also expanding. It will be developed to international standard in the near future. Some new airports are also designed in the North-east in the coming year.

A large number of airports can now handle all weather operations instead of fair weather operations earlier. Ground based communication, navigation and surveillance facilities are now being replaced by satellite based facilities. India is developing its new satellite based navigation system Gagan, which will enable precision approaches at all airports in India.

The growth of aviation has shrunk the world into a village. Now one can have breakfast in Delhi, lunch in London and dinner at New York. Air travel which was a luxury earlier has now become a necessity. Introduction of low cost carrier model has brought about a revolution in air travel. It has made air travel within the reach of a common man. Connectivity between smaller towns has increased significantly.

General aviation is also increasing its air transport activities fast. Helicopter operations have become very popular and are in great demand particularly in the election periods. Helicopters now find increasing role in tourism and security related activities also. Small jet aircraft are now being imported increasingly by corporates. General aviation is now becoming a major activity in the country. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers enjoy a very high proportion of full time jobs with good prospect and very strong employment growth. A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer is rewarded with the opportunity to examine and certify an aircraft as ready for takeoff. The present scenario reveals that demand of trained personal is constantly exuberant in the last ten years. Indian airport handled about ten million domestic passengers a year a decade ago that figure has now crossed 25 million. It is expected to reach 100 million in two years. This explosive growth in aviation sector along with planning in techniques is also opening new avenues for a trained aircraft engineer, who is amongst the most highly paid professional.

Author info

Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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