Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu stunned a huge audience in Delhi last evening when while being welcomed by the GMR Group, he in turn felicitated the Chairman of GMR Group, GM Rao. Naidu lauded the role of Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Group and said that the country was proud of the Delhi Airport which is a perfect model of Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The GMR group held a function in the capital on Tuesday evening to� felicitate its stakeholders for making the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport the world�s Number 1 Airport(in the 25-40 MPPA category) for the second consecutive year.
The IGI Airport has been recognized as the world�s number 1 airport in its category by the Airport Council International (ACI) twice in a row. Besides, the IGI Airport also bagged two more awards from ACI � Asia Pacific � Best Airport by size and region in the 25-40 MPPA category and Asia Pacific � 2nd Best Airport by Region in 2015.
During the event, organised under the aegis of DIAL, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA) thanked Shri Kiren Rijiju, Hon�ble Minister of State for Home Affairs; Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon�ble Minister of Finance and Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon�ble Urban Development Minister for extending their support to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in its mission to put Indian aviation into the fast track of socio-economic reform.
Shri GM Rao, Group Chairman, GMR Group, felicitated Shri Raju and Shri Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation for encouraging PPP model in the Indian aviation sector.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju, said: �As regards infrastructure, airports are the backbone of the Civil Aviation sector in any country. The status and position of Delhi, as the national capital and the gateway to our nation is unique. The premier airport of any national capital would have to be operationally efficient, technically advanced, environment friendly and aesthetically pleasing. I am sanguine that DIAL shall continue to assign high priority to all these factors as it expands its operations in becoming a hub of economic activity for the entire National Capital Region.�
According to Hon�ble Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, airports play a significant role in globalization, connecting cities and countries, encouraging international commerce and tourism. National economy of any country has a huge multiplier effect or positive correlation with the Civil Aviation growth, making it one of the highest growing economies in the world, he said.
��Delhi International airport serves as the economic hub not just for India but also for the whole world. It helps in attracting Foreign Direct Investments in India and also enabled NCR to emerge as an economic hub - promoting Hon�ble Prime Minister�s �Make in India� campaign,� he added.
Hon�ble Urban Development Minister, Shri Venkaiah Naidu said: �Airports have evolved as drivers of business location and urban development in the 21st century. The development and modernization of Delhi Airport has resulted in significant socio-economic impact, bringing in prosperity not just for the National Capital Territory of Delhi but also for India as a whole.�
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Indian aviation saw boom after privatisation. The current Union Government has taken a slew of measures to ensure further boost to the Indian aviation industry. It has taken steps to promote maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) within the country.
Shri G M Rao, Group Chairman, GMR Group, viewed: �By developing Delhi International Airport as a global Indian hub, the Indian aviation industry has grown manifolds. The DIAL has contributed effectively towards the revival and transformation of the Indian aviation industry by constructing Terminal 3, one of the Independent India�s biggest infrastructure projects in a record time of 37 months. This is an unparalleled feat accomplished amongst its global peers and would not have been possible without the support and guidance of all our stakeholders and various government agencies. We feel privileged and honoured by developing this National asset, of which we are the custodians.�
��India is well placed to be amongst the global top 3 aviation markets by 2026. Delhi International Airport�s current capacity to handle 62 Million passengers per annum and 1.5 Million tonnes of Cargo, makes it ideally suited to serve the growth of Indian Aviation. The airport has the ability to expand to 109 Million passengers per annum and 2.2 Million tonnes of cargo,� Shri GM Rao added.
�Shri Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman-Airports, GMR Group, said: �Delhi Airport showcases several majestic and breathtaking vignettes of not only design and engineering, but has also played a pivotal role in giving a fillip to the nation�s economy. As per the Socio-Economic Impact of Delhi Airport  conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research [NCAER], it has made 0.45% contribution to the national GDP and 13.53% to the Delhi GSDP. Indian aviation industry has gone through a tumultuous time in the mid-80s. The revival of the Indian aviation industry began in early 2000 initiated by the NDA government, with the proposal to modernize four major metro airports under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) including the Delhi airport.�
��The Union Government has shown its seriousness to ensure significant growth in the aviation sector and created a favourable environment for players like us. The government has taken many ambitious initiatives for promoting Indian aviation over the last two years such as increase in foreign investment limit to boosting domestic infrastructure, release of the Draft National Civil Aviation Policy, push for Regional Air Connectivity amongst others,� he added.
The IGI Airport has recorded a substantial improvement in all aspects after the GMR-led consortium took over the operations in 2006. In 2007, the airport was ranked 101 out of 125 airports in the world in terms of ACI Airport Service Quality (ASQ). From this very low position, DIAL has made rapid progress over the years in enhancing the IGI Airport�s service quality, which has resulted in steady improvement in its rankings. In 2011, the airport had achieved the position of world�s number 2 in its category, which it retained for three consecutive years till 2013. In 2014 it stepped up its position to the world no. 1 rank in the 25-40 MPPA category and retained the rank in 2015 with a score of 4.96 in ACI ASQ survey on a scale of 1 to 5.
The aviation sector in India has witnessed significant growth in total number of Passengers from 73.3 Million in FY06 to 223.6 Million in FY16 (a growth of over 205%); and total Cargo handled from 1.39 Million Tonnes in FY06 to 2.70 Million Tonnes in FY16 (a growth of over 94%). The Indian aviation industry is currently served by 99 Airlines (86 International and 13 Domestic airlines). Aviation traffic reported robust growth over the first decade of this century. In FY2015, the country witnessed passenger movement of 190 million (mn) with the 15-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) at 11.4%, aircraft movement of 1.6 mn (8.8%) and cargo movement of 2.5 mn tonnes (8.1%), making it a major aviation centre globally.By Vivek Avasthi