Thursday, March 08, 2018

Taking civil aviation to next level

Hyderabad: Wings India-2018, the next edition of the biennial event on civil aviation and aerospace, is all set to get under way at Begumpet airport in the city on Thursday.

Comprising a conference and an exhibition, the four-day event would focus on improving regional air connectivity. It would provide a platform for interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players and stakeholders, according to the organisers.

Its focus on regional connectivity comes amid the Government of India’s emphasis on measures to make air travel a reality for more people. One of the major initiatives in this direction is the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) seeking to develop under-served airports with airports in major cities across the country. Also known as Udan, the second phase of the scheme was launched recently. Speaking on the measures, Joint Secretary to Civil Aviation Ministry Usha Padhee said as many as 56 airports and 31 helipads would be developed over the next 18 months.
“A lot of infrastructure development will happen in smaller cities,” she said, pointing out that ₹4,500-crore package had been announced in the Budget for the purpose. The emphasis comes in the backdrop of major airports in the country becoming busier and congested. Such a situation is making airlines take a re-look at their business models, especially to add smaller aircraft to their fleet and fly to new destinations.

On the airports to be developed, she said they were under the control of Airports Authority of India (AAI), with the respective State governments, some PSUs and the Ministry of Defence.

AAI Executive Director (RCS) G.K. Chaukiyal said the Airports Authority of India would be developing several facilities based on the demand. The RCS, he explained, was centred around small aircraft and in the recent phase of the scheme, helicopters had also been included to provide connectivity to hilly areas. The AAI, he added, was also adding 275 parking bays under Udan.
08/03/18 The Hindu