India set to become third largest aviation market by 2021

Airports Council International (ACI) World, has today addressed world aviation leaders at the International Aviation Summit, in Delhi, India, calling for immediate action to assist nations and communities to meet the challenges of the rapid growth in demand for air services.

The most recent ACI forecasts, India will become the third largest passenger aviation market by 2021, needing to accommodate 429 million passengers per year. The country is also forecast to handle 4.4 million metric tonnes of cargo per year making it the seventh cargo aviation market.

In order to meet this demand – and for airports to continue to deliver the social and economic benefits that aviation generates – Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, urged policy makers and regulators to provide a proportionate, clear and consistent regulatory framework to facilitate successful private investment.

In her comments at the Summit, Angela Gittens said that strong competitive forces were shaping the industry’s positive response to the challenges of growth and that any national transport policy should have a long-term vision setting clear and firm objectives to achieve the modernization of airports.  “India has proven that the partnership between public and private is a valid option to increase the quality of service for passengers. A clear and consistent legal framework should set the ground for further processes of privatization of airports, including incentives to attract potential national and foreign investors. The Nabh Nirman 2018 initiative and the proposed new transaction model for future greenfield airports go in this direction”.

International experiences show that disproportionate attempts to regulate the airport business could discourage investment in the future. This would increase the risk of serious capacity constraints which could limit economic development and result in bottlenecks, flight delays and deteriorating customer service.

“As India prepares to become the third largest aviation market in the world, airports, airlines, and other aviation partners must continue to work together to accommodate this accelerating growth,” said Angela Gittens. “Governments and regulators must enable this by providing clear and proportionate regulatory oversight so that Indian airports can maintain their global leadership in service quality and remain a global benchmark for customer experience.

“The scale of current and forecast demand at Indian airports requires significant investment to maintain and enhance infrastructure as well as passenger service capacity at an appropriate level of quality. The travelling public`s expectations for the airport customer experience continues to increase as airports globally have raised their performance levels in this regard. The Airport Service Quality benchmarking programme, with more than 340 airports surveyed across the globe, has proven to be an effective objective tool to measure service quality and passenger satisfaction and to drive performance by Indian airports for the benefit of the passengers and the airlines on which they fly”.

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