Union Civil Aviation Minister J Scindia on Friday said that the country will be a global leader in drones by 2030 and the roots for which are being put in place.
Speaking to the media persons at the WINGS INDIA 2022 in Hyderabad, Scindia said that apart from the fleet size, airports and new routes, India will also expand the ecosystem including Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Cargo, Flying and Training Organisations (FTO) and drones.
“I am very optimistic for the increase in fleet size, aircraft, the building of airports, new routes and expanding ecosystem in India, whether it’s MRO, cargo, FTO and drones,” he said. Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision on the potential and growth prospects of India in the drones sector, the Union Minister said, “As the PM said, India has the capability to become a global leader in the sector of drones by the year 2030. The underpinnings and roots of that are being firmly put in place as we speak, from a policy, incentivization and demand perspective.”
During the inaugural session of the conference, Scindia that India is the fastest-growing civil aviation market in the world. He said that there has been expanding across the spectrum in the sector, with the number of airports in the country going up from 74 in 2013-14 to almost 140 including Heliports and water domes. The number is likely to go up to 220 by 2024-25.
“There were 400 aircrafts in the country then and the number has gone up to 710 in 7 years. It is intended that more than 100 aircrafts should join every year,” said the Union Minister. He said that regional connectivity is the focus of the government, with the provision of last-mile connectivity.
Underlining PM Modi’s vision for the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik (UDAN) scheme, he said that more than 409 routes have been identified under the scheme, over 1.75 lakh flights have taken place and more than 91 lakh passengers have benefitted. Aimed at strengthening the regional air-connectivity, Scindia launched the ”Small Air-Craft Sub Scheme”. The scheme intends to facilitate the creation of an ecosystem for the successful operations of small aircraft by bringing together the relevant stakeholders like airport operators, states, policymakers, airlines and many more.
He further said that the aviation sector will play an important role in the country’s development adding that the sector is one of the largest employment and output generating sector in the world. He also informed that 15 per cent of the Indian pilots are women, which is three times the global average.
“For the Drones, the new policy has been announced and PLI scheme has been initiated so that the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a global leader in the sector is realized. The Minister also said that a new helicopter policy has also been announced,” he added. Wings India 2022, Asia’s largest event for commercial, general and business aviation, is being held with ‘[email protected]: New Horizon for Aviation Industry’, as the main theme.
The event which took off on Friday is being jointly organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The Exhibition had participants including Aircraft and Helicopter Manufacturers, Aircraft Interiors, Aircraft Machinery and Equipment Companies, Airport Infrastructure Companies, Drones, Skill Development, Space Industry, Airlines, Airline Services and Cargo.