India is the ninth largest aviation market in the world, according to RNCOS research report, titled "Indian Aerospace Industry Analysis". It is anticipated that the civil aviation market will register more than 16 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during 2010-2013 on back of strong market fundamentals.
The rapidly expanding aviation sector in India handles about 2.5 billion passengers across the world in a year; moves 45 million tonnes (MT) of cargo through 920 airlines, using 4,200 airports and deploying 27,000 aircraft. Currently, 87 foreign airlines fly to and from India and five Indian carriers fly to and fro from 40 countries. India is expected to be amongst the top five nations in the world in the next 10 years. An efficient civil aviation sector is important for India as it is inter-linked with other sectors in the economy and generates income and employment through global commerce and tourism, as per a National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) study titled 'Emirates in India - Assessment of Economic Impact and Regional Benefits'.
Airport infrastructure in India is witnessing improvisation and expansion on a massive scale, with the Government avidly supporting private participants. The need for airport infrastructure in India has increased considerably. In order to ramp up airport infrastructure, the Government has unveiled reforms to facilitate investment in this segment. The investment in Indian airport infrastructure market, especially in the greenfield projects is expected to increase.
The domestic airlines carried 438.4 million passengers during January -September 2012 (first three quarters of calendar year), according to data released by the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The air transport (including air freight) in India has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 446 million from April 2000 to September 2012, as per data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).