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The Indian economy has been growing consistently over the last few years, stable growth, rising foreign exchange reserves, increasing inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) set the stage for high growth expectations. Propelled by growth of the economy and liberalization, the aviation sector in India experienced an unprecedented growth in the corresponding period. The estimated total passenger throughput for all airports in India in 2008-09 grew to 109 million from 40 million in 2000-01 and freight tonnage from 0.80 million to 1.70 million tons in the same period. This sector is a collection of multiple distinct, yet intertwined, commercial functions in different segments - for instance, airport, airlines, ground handling, air traffic control, safety, security, etc.

Fleet Size

There are 15 scheduled operator's permit holders including two regional ones and two in the cargo category, with 419 aircraft endorsed on their permits. The number of non-scheduled operator's permit holders in different categories, namely passenger, cargo and charter, has gone up to 118, with 332 aircraft endorsed on their permit. The number of non-scheduled flight clearances granted to foreign non-scheduled operators in 2009 was 11,183. During 2009, a total of 1,18,064 tourists visited the country by 557 Inclusive Tourist Package (ITP) tourist charter flights.

Statistics of growth

Passengers carried by domestic airlines from January-April, 2010 were 162.82 lakhs as against 133.41 lakhs in the corresponding period of year 2009 thereby registering a growth of 22.05%.The total domestic passengers carried by the scheduled Airlines of India in the month of April, 2010 was 41.88 lakhs.

Airline-wise details of market share of scheduled domestic airlines for the month of April,
2010 are as follows:


Market Share

(in lakhs)

Percentage share

Seat factor

(in %)

Air India (Domestic)
Jet Airways
Jet Lite
Spice Jet
Go Air

Source:Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)

Airport Development

  • Development of airports at Delhi and Mumbai has been taken up under Public Private Partnership mode. It is planned to fund the capital expenditure through private equity, borrowings and internal resources of joint venture companies. The development work is likely to be completed by 2010 at Delhi airport and 2012 in Mumbai.

  • Development of Kolkata and Chennai international airports has been taken up by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).The work is in progress and is scheduled to be completed by May 2010 and January 2011 respectively. Bangalore and Hyderabad international airports have been developed on Public Private Partnership mode as greenfield airports. These two airports have been put in operation. Greenfield Airports in the North-eastern region.

  • The AAI plans to construct of greenfield airports in the north-eastern region with budgetary support. Construction work has already commenced at Pekyong Airport in Sikkim and is likely to be completed by January 2012.

  • Approval is being obtained for construction of greenfield airports at Cheitu (Nagaland) and Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh).

Development of 35 Non-metro Airports

The AAI has taken up the development of 35 non-metro airports. Of them, 9 have been completed and put in operation. The other projects are in progress and likely to be completed by 2010-11. The Committee of Infrastructure has identified 24 of the 35 non-metro airports for city-side development through Public Private Partnership. It has been decided that in the first instance city-side development of 10 selected airports, namely Ahmadabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Lucknow, Amritsar, Indore, Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bhubaneswar, should be undertaken. It has been proposed to carve out the surplus land available with the AAI on the city side of the selected airports and lease out the same through open tenders.

Creation of Heliport

Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. proposes to construct a heliport in New Delhi to provide connectivity to tourists and the business community, especially during the Commonwealth Games 2010, and for emergency/disaster management. Possession has been taken of the land allotted by the Delhi Development authority (DDA) at Rohini and M/s RITES Ltd has been engaged for preparation of a feasibility study.

Major Airports in India

  • Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad

  • Bengaluru International Airport, Devanhalli (Benguluru)

  • Kozhikode Airport, Calicut

  • Chennai International Airport, Chennai

  • Cochin International Airport, Cochin

  • Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

  • Goa International Airport, Dabolim

  • Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad (Hyderabad)

  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai

  • Pune Airport, Pune

  • Thiruananthapuram International Airport, Thiruananthapuram

Recent initiatives in Aviation Sector

  • Financial Surveillance of Air Operators: The Air Transport Directorate in the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has started an evaluation of the financial health of the scheduled airlines. A one-time comprehensive audit of NACIL (I) Kingfisher and Jet Airways has also been carried out.

  • Transparency in Air Fare Advertising: In order to have transparency in airfare advertising, Rule 135 of Aircraft Rules 1937 has been amended wherein airlines shall display tariff in a conspicuous manner to show the total amount payable by a passenger and complete break-up of the total amount, indicating the fare, tax, fees or any other charge, if any, separately. Scheduled domestic airlines have complied with the provisions of Rule 135.

  • Tariff Monitoring: The DGCA has started monitoring tariffs of scheduled domestic airlines. A group has been constituted comprising tariff analysis experts who carry out the analysis of fares on major routes on daily basis.

  • India-EU Civil Aviation Cooperation Programme: Under the Joint Action Plan, a Civil Aviation Cooperation Project-II has been agreed upon. Its terms of reference (TOR) have been finalized. The project called "Institutional Capacity Building in the Civil Aviation Section in India" is likely to commence during 2010.

  • India-USA Aviation Cooperation Programme (ACP): The India-US ACP was signed in June 2007 with the objective of promoting safety, operational efficiency and system capacity and facilitating and coordinating aviation industry training and technical ties between the US and India. The first phase of the ACP was completed in 2008 and its second phase is under way.


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