The Minister said the acquisition of modern aircraft and investment in airports was expected to generate businessopportunities worth about 150 billion dollars that wouldrevolutionise the sector.
Stressing the need for being "eternally cautious" ofsecurity threats from various quarters, he said "we have toremember the tragedies of Kanishka and IC-814 to remainconstantly vigilant of the dangers that lurk round thecorner".
While Air India''s Boeing 747, named Kanishka, was blownoff mid-air on June 23, 1985 by a bomb planted by Khalistaniterrorists claiming 329 lives, Indian Airlines''Kathmandu-Delhi flight IC-814 was hijacked to Kandahar onDecember 24, 1999.Observing that aviation was extremely sensitive to theeconomic environment, Ravi said taxation issues, investmentpolicies, competition and investment strategies have to befine-tuned as the sector grew.
"We will ensure a liberal and competitive environment forthe growth of the private sector," he added.
Ravi said there was an urgent need to protect the rightsof the passengers and significant steps have been taken forconsumer protection through Civil Aviation Regulations ondisability related rights, refunds, cancellations, delays,over-bookings and boarding denials.
Observing that one of the biggest challenges was to lendrenewed vibrancy to state-owned units like Air India andAirports Authority of India, he said these two organisationshave rendered historic service to the nation and theircontinued vibrancy was critical for the growth of the sector.
"The government is committed to support them to ensuretheir healthy future," Ravi said.
Describing the civil aviation sector as a "majoremployment creator", he said according to available studies,it would create new employment opportunities for nearly 26lakh Indians by 2025.
He said airlines and airports should compete with eachother to offer better facilities and services to passengersand protect their rights. "We propose to further strengthenthis initiative in the days to come".
The Minister said during year-long centenarycelebrations, institutions like universities, museums,archives would be set up which would strengthen the sector.