Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 12 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said that the aviation sector has the potential of absorbing an investment of 120 billion dollars, which turn could create employment, both directly and indirectly to tens of thousands of people.
Inaugurating the New International Terminal Building at Trivandrum Airport, Dr. Singh said: "The country's transport sector has witnessed unprecedented growth in the recent past."
"During the last seven years, domestic air traffic has tripled and international traffic has more than doubled. An exponential growth in passenger traffic is expected in this decade as well," he added.
He said the government fully understands the importance of the civil aviation sector to the Indian economy, particularly as it gets more and more integrated with the global economy.
"We have formulated various policies to give a boost to this important sector of our economy," he added.
Emphasising that airport infrastructure policy aims to increase airport capacity to stay ahead of demand, Dr. Singh said: " We wish to make our airport facilities user friendly and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. We also seek to ensure the safety and security of airport operations and develop multi-modal transport linkages.
He further said aviation infrastructure was being modernized through joint ventures under the private-public partnership model.
"Two new green field airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore have been developed and have become operational through the joint venture route," he added.
Noting that aviation was earlier considered only for the affluent, he said:"With the growth of low-cost air travel, the airlines are now giving strong competition to the railways and many passengers who earlier used to travel only by trains today frequently use air flights".
Complimenting the Airports Authority of India, Dr. Singh said: "It is noteworthy that the entire investment of the new international terminal building at Thiruvananthapuram airport at a cost of Rs. 289 crores is being met through AAI's internal resources." (ANI)