4 years of Modi Sarkar: How air travel became accessible to the Aam Aadmi
The civil aviation industry in India has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country during the last four years. As far as the civil aviation sector is concerned, the Centre has addressed issues such as infrastructure constraints at airports, boosting air connectivity to smaller towns and developing the local human resource.
In the assessment of the four years of the Modi government, India has emerged as the third largest aviation market with air passenger traffic growing in the range of 18-20 percent over the past three years, and this has also been witnessed an increasing number of flyers in the country. Now, the number of air travellers is rising fast and already there are more flyers than those travelling in Indian Railways AC coaches.
Here's what you need to know:
The Civil Aviation Ministry had launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme or UDAN on 21 October 2016 which aims to provide air connectivity to smaller towns and hilly terrains at affordable prices. The ministry claimed that the scheme has become a major success, taking the number of operational airports in the country to about 100.
An initiative to convert domestic airports to international airports
The Government has taken an initiative to convert Bhopal, Indore and Raipur domestic airports as international airports. However, the upgradation of an airport as international airport depends upon various factors like traffic potential, demand from airlines for operation of international flights and presence of facilities like a runway length of 9000 feet to cater to medium capacity long-range aircraft or equivalent type of aircraft, ground lighting facilities, Instrument Landing System for operation of aircraft at night and availability of Customs, Immigration, Health and Animal and Plant Quarantine services.
Delhi, Kochi and Hyderabad airport switch to green energy
Major airports like Delhi, Kochi and Hyderabad international airport have switched to go entirely green. Delhi was the country's first airport to go for 2MW solar power. After that Kochi went 100 percent solar with panels on the rooftop. Delhi has now placed additional solar panels along the runway. Hyderabad's airport has enough land bank, so at present, the solar field is on the area near the access road to the airport. In the future, there will be solar panels on the rooftop.
New Civil Aviation Policy announced
The government had approved the country's first National Civil Aviation Policy for increasing air connectivity, allowing new domestic airlines to fly abroad quickly and opening up the skies for European and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.