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Indian aviation needs better framework: Patel

Written by: Staff

Paris, June 6 (UNI) India is striving to unshackle restrictive policies of the past so that aviation is redistributed across the country in an even spread, minister for civil aviation Praful Patel said today.

With a population of 1.1 billion, it will be unfair to look at the burgeoning sector in just Mumbai and Delhi, he told UNI in an interview during the World Air Transport Summit (WATS) being held here alongwith 62nd annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

''Our second objective is to make sure that India integrates itself with rest of the world. There must be a free flow of traffic from anywhere to anywhere, both within India and internationally.'' This third objective is to address the lack of adequate infrastructure to take Indian aviation forward, said Mr Patel.

The country had 135 operational aircraft about two years ago. Now it has close to 200.

''I think we are going to see a lot more leisure activity in the near future. Plus, the low-cost sector is taking shape. Of course, we do not have secondary airports and we also have a great shortage of pilots. But in the long-run, I can predict a robust 25 per cent year-on-year growth for at lease next 10 years.'' Mr Patel said India has emerged as a country to watch out for with strong potential for the future. Only 10 million Indians fly per year at the moment.

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