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Civil-aviation sector needs to tackle hurdles: Patel

The Indian aviation sector was growing at between 35 per cent to 40 per cent annually.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2007 11:03 IST

Noting that Indian civil aviation sector is experiencing high levels of growth, Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel has said the indus try must tackle the shortcomings of inadequate infrastructure and shortage of skilled manpower to sustain the growth.

"We need more pilot training facilities, we need more engineering facilities and we need more technical people. The real challenge is to build infrastructure in the shortest possible time. Otherwise we cannot sustain this kind of growth," he said while attending a session of the United States-India Business Council in Washington on Thursday.

The Indian aviation sector was growing at between 35 per cent to 40 per cent annually with the domestic sector accounting for 48 per cent and the international sector chipping in with 20 per cent, he said.

India must allow private players to build new merchant airports and should promote regional airlines in tier two and tier three cities with one major hub in a region if it aims to widen the sector, Patel said.

The aviation sector have to look beyond the realm of passengers to include cargo and logistics, he said adding trusts should be given to cargo facilities, ie more cargo airlines and hubs.

The Vision 2020 document, which would be finalised in a few months, envisions to have atleast 400 airports by that time frame, he said.

The session was attended by the Indian Ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen and the President of the USIBC Ron Somers.

Patel's official schedule include a meeting with US Secretary of Transportation during which an MoU on the Aviation Cooperation Programme between the two countries is expected to be signed. He will also visit the National Command System at Dulles of the Federal Aviation Authority.

First Published: Jun 22, 2007 09:54 IST