Economic survey: Bihar’s aviation sector grew 8 times in a decade

Mar 04, 2023 10:10 PM IST

The recent trends of business in terms of air passengers and freight from Patna airport suggest the sector is gradually returning to pre-Covid era traffic.

PATNA Aviation sector in Bihar has grown roughly by eight times over the past one decade and generated 252 crore in the 2021-22 fiscal alone, according to the Bihar Economic Survey, which was released by the state finance department recently.

Patna airport (HT archive)
Patna airport (HT archive)

Officials of the state civil aviation department say the sector is bound to grow more after the launch of commercial flight operations from Purnia and after completion of a few other airports, proposed to be developed in the next few years.

The recent trends of business in terms of air passengers and freight from Patna airport suggest the sector is gradually returning to pre-Covid era traffic. “There has been about 55% jump in air sector business in Bihar in 2021-22 as compared to its preceding financial year. Total revenue from air traffic has gone up to 252 crore in last fiscal as compared to 163 crore in 2019-20 in Bihar,” the report says.

A senior official of the state aviation department said there has been an upwardly trend in passenger as well as freight traffic, though it might take another year to cross the pre-Covid era. “Till December last year, Patna airport saw seen movements of 21,427 aircraft and 27.67 lakh passengers vis-a-vis movement of 35,145 flights and 45.24 lakh passengers in 2019-20,” he said, adding that shipment of freight is likely to touch the pre-Covid traffic to around 12,000 tonnes by the end of this fiscal.

“A robust civil aviation set-up is a key to seamless flow of investment, trade and tourism, with significant multiplier effects. Among others, this industry depends on two major factors, like business activities in that region and quality of service provided. The Airport Council International (ACI) World helps around 400 airports worldwide to manage and deliver the best services for their customers. ACI also publishes air service quality (ASQ) index each year for all airports. The Patna airport has been continuously improving its ASQ Index and its ranking has improved to 71 in 2022 from 233 in 2020,” the report says.

Officials said business from Patna airport, which is one of the fasted growing airports under the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is likely to go up considerably once the new terminal building and freight section are complete early next year. “The airport in Patna has served nearly two crore passengers during the last five financial years (2017-18 to 2021-22) and carried more than 45,000 tonnes of freight during the same period. The aircraft movement as well as passengers and freight business are gradually recovering from the Covid year,” says the report.

Additional chief secretary S Siddharth, who heads the civil aviation department, was not available for comment.


    Subhash Pathak is special correspondent of Hindustan Times with over 15 years of experience in journalism, covering issues related to governance, legislature, police, Maoism, urban and road infrastructure of Bihar and Jharkhand.

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