Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Aviation related stats
Mains level: The potential of the aviation sector and dealing with various issues associated with it
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation has unveiled the Vision 2040 document, which highlights the growth potential in different sub-sectors of Indian aviation and the key action steps are required to be taken to achieve the desired objective.
Highlights of Vision 2040
- As per the document the total passenger traffic (to, from and within India) in India is expected to rise nearly six-fold from 187 million in FY 2018 to around 1124 million in FY 2040.
- This includes around 821 million domestic passengers and around 303 million international passengers (to and from India).
- The overall CAGR (compound annual growth rate) works out to around 9% in domestic and 7% in international traffic during FY 2018-2040.
Why such long-term plan?
- Rather than having five-year plans, the document talks about India having a robust 20-year plan that lays out the targets and the path to get there along with time lines and clear accountability.
- Since aviation is a longterm plan, aircraft procurement, airport development, air navigation system changes and skill development should be done in a cohesive manner.
- It said technology developments like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, composites, super-alloys, biofuels etc. are changing the face of aviation.
- It is humanly impossible to predict the oil price or the exchange rate a month down the line, much less the impact of technology 10 years hence.
A high growth path
- Total passenger traffic to, from and within India, during Apr-Nov 2018 grew by around 15% year on year as compared to around 6% globally.
- India is now the seventh largest aviation market with 187 million passengers (to, from and within India)inFY2017-18.
- It is expected to be third largest by 2022.
- As per the document initiatives like Nabh Nirman (for airport capacity augmentation), Digi Yatra (for paperless travel) and AirSewa (for online passenger grievance redressal) are bringing in radical changes.
- It said that the government may consider establishing a Nabh Nirman Fund (NNF) with a starting corpus of around $2 billion to support low traffic airports in their initial phases.
- The tax structure for Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and aircraft leasing may be gradually aligned with leading global jurisdictions.
- The concept of land pooling may be used to keep land acquisition costs low and to provide landowners with high value developed plots in the vicinity of the airport.
- It also said DGCA may be converted into a fully-independent Civil Aviation Authority, with its own sources of funding and freedom to recruit professionals at market-linked salaries.
- Most transactions with DGCA will be automated with minimal human interface.