India’s civil aviation sector could be number one worldwide by 2030, said a report by global consultancy KPMG and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
"India has the potential to become the third largest aviation market by 2020 and the largest by 2030," says the report launched at the civil aviation exposition in Hyderabad on Thursday.
According to the report, the civil aviation industry is on a high growth trajectory, albeit with minor hiccups. The industry has ushered in a new wave of expansion driven by low-cost carriers, modern airports, foreign direct investments in domestic airlines and regional connectivity.
"The Indian civil aviation industry is among the top 10 in the world with a size of around $16 billion (Rs 99,200 crore). This is a fraction of what it can actually achieve," it said.
The report notes that the next generation of aviation growth in India will be triggered by regional airports. At present, there are around 450 used/un-used/abandoned airports and airstrips spread all over the country. Many Indian states, especially in eastern India, have started taking proactive measures to promote air connectivity.
"India is blessed with a great geographic location, a large upwardly mobile middle class and immense tourism opportunities. Our challenges are primarily related to policies, procedures, regulations and taxes," said Amber Dubey, KPMG’s India aerospace head.
"We’ve just touched the tip of the aviation iceberg," added Dubey, noting "access to aviation is still a dream for nearly 99.5%" of India’s 1.2 billion population.