Mumbai, Jan 15 (IANS) Stressing the importance of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu stressed here on Tuesday the need to leverage these modern technologies to improve the global flying ecosystem.
Inaugurating the first-ever Global Aviation Summit (GAS) 2019, the Minister said the sustainability of the aviation sector is also important and it must be ensured that flying practices remain ‘planet-friendly’.
“It is our bounden duty to ensure that our skies remain blue for all times to come… We are trying to professionalise the entire aviation sector. We have zero tolerance for safety violations,” Prabhu asserted.
He added the Indian aviation sector has been growing at 20 per cent for the last four years — the highest in the world — and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, the country is ready with a robust growth strategy to pave the way forward.
In this context, Prabhu pointed out the government has already announced a Drone Policy to ensure several drones are manufactured in India and will now launch a road-map for aircraft manufacturing in the country.
He is also expected to unveil India’s first-ever Air Cargo Policy on Tuesday and said the country will introduce a National Logistics Policy shortly which will enable the creation of several logistic hubs across India.
Expressing his best wishes for the GAS, Modi hoped it would witness extensive and insightful discussions pertaining to the aviation sector.
“Our government is actively working on enhancing aviation infrastructure, improving connectivity and making flying more affordable,” Modi said in a message.
In his address, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said GAS would be a landmark event for not just the Indian aviation sector but also for global aviation sector.
“Flying in India is more affordable than plying on an auto-rickshaw, on a per kilometre basis. We want to go from auto-rickshaws to ‘air-rickshaws’,” Sinha added.
Speaking on the occasion, Fadnavis said the aviation contributes to 15 per cent of the national GDP, with the Mumbai airport being one of the most efficiently managed in the country.
He said Maharashtra is an industrial hub with a massive growth in aviation creating a demand for more infrastructure and more airport spaces.
“The upcoming new Navi Mumbai International Airport, to be operational by 202 will offer a unique experience. It has a capacity to add 1 per cent to the GDP, and plus nine more airports are in the pipeling in the state,” Fadnavis added.
While Pune airport is being developed to cater to one of the major IT hubs in the country, Nagpur airport is being boosted for its strategic location in national-global flight routes as all metros in India are around an hour’s distance from the state’s second capital.
A passenger and cargo hub is being created in Nagpur while Boeing has already started producing few airplane components here with other companies interest to set up base here, he said.
Fadnavis expressed the state’s commitment to enabling ‘Flying For All’ since the state has already created an ecosystem using AI and technical minds, and the UDAN scheme would enable affordable flying for most people.
Earlier, Prabhu, Sinha and Fadnavis inaugurated the two-day GAS, themed ‘Flying For All’, against the backdrop of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s prediction of a “100 per cent increase in global air travel by 2030”.
Organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the first GAS 2019 will discuss how to ride this strong tailwind of growth and pave the way forward for the aviation sector, with representatives and delegates from over 80 countries participating.
The GAS is supported by the International Civil Aviation Organization, Federal Aviation Administration of the US, International Air Transport Association, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, Airports Council International and Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines and will include conferences, exhibitions and G2G, G2B and B2B exchanges.