NEW DELHI: India’s aviation sector is experiencing a meteoric rise due to soaring demand and the government’s unwavering commitment to its growth. The industry has undergone a remarkable transformation, becoming the thirdlargest domestic aviation market in the world, after the US and China.
India’s aviation industry has experienced significant growth in the past 9 years. The number of operational airports in the country has doubled from 74 in 2014 to 148 in April 2023.
At the heart of this expansion lies the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik).
The scheme has undergone several successful iterations over the past six years, focusing on connecting underserved and unserved regions of India. By reviving existing airstrips and airports, UDAN aims to bring essential air travel access to previously isolated communities and boost regional economic development.
RCS-UDAN is contributing to the growth of the civil aviation industry as four new and successful airlines have come up in the last 6 years.
The Government has allocated Rs 4,500 Crores for the development of airports in the country under the scheme, out of which Rs. 3,751 crores have been utilised since its inception. Nearly 517 RCS routes have so far commenced operations connecting 76 airports, including 9 heliports and 2 water aerodrome.
More than 1.30 crore people have availed of the benefits of the scheme. The aviation industry is experiencing a remarkable resurgence post-Covid. From January to September 2023, domestic airlines carried 112.86 million passengers, a 29.10 per cent increase from 87.42 million passengers carried during the same period in 2022.
Between January and September 2023, airlines carried 45.99 million international passengers, a significant 39.61 per cent increase compared to the 32.94 million passengers carried in the same period of 2022.
Civil aviation ministry has taken initiatives to work towards carbon neutrality and airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru have become carbon neutral. At present 66 airports are operating on 100 per cent green energy.