The Civil Aviation sector refers to all non-military aviation. It comprises of two main sections, viz, (i) scheduled air transport including passenger and cargo flights (ii) general aviation including private transport and recreational flying components such as light aircraft, business, and private jets or helicopters. The Civil Aviation industry is the fastest growing industry in India. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is the governmental regulatory authority body for the sector. It superintends autonomous organizations like Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airports Authority of India (AAI), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited and Air India. India ranks third amongst domestic aviation markets in the world, after China and the United States. By 2024, it is expected to surpass the UK to become the third-largest country in the air passenger market.
India’s air passenger traffic reached a high of USD 344.70 million (Rs. 2448.82 crores) in 2019 from USD 308.75 million in 2018 (Rs. 2193.42 crores). The domestic passenger traffic is estimated to reach USD 293.28 million (Rs. 2083.52 crores) by 2020 from USD 243 million (Rs. 1726.32 crores) in 2018 at a CAGR of 18.28%. The international passenger traffic is looking ahead at a CAGR of 10.43% reaching a high of USD 76 million (Rs. 540 crores) in 2020 from USD 65.48 million (Rs. 465.18 crores) in 2018. In 2019, total freight traffic totaled 3.56 million tonnes, including international and domestic sectors. Domestic aircraft movements reached 2.15 million in 2019, and international stood at 0.45 million. The intensifying air traffic has prodded the government to increase the number of airports to 190-200 by 2014 from the present 103 airports, as of March 2019. An escalation in the fleet is also on the cards to keep up with the proliferation of demand. The number of operational aircraft of scheduled airline operators stood at 650 in July 2018 and is expected to reach 1100 by 2027. The budget allocation for the sector in the Union Budget presented by the government in 2019 is Rs. 4500 crores.
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