By 2020, passenger traffic at Indian airports is expected to touch US$ 450 million from 159.3 million in 2012–13. The travel & tourism industry is predicted to grow 7.9 per cent to US$ 270.5 billion in 2023 from US$ 119.4 billion in 2012.
India is the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world and fourth in terms of domestic passenger volumes (116.3). The country’s civil aviation market is also set to become the world’s third largest by 2020. Total freight traffic registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 per cent over FY 06-13; it stood at 2.19 million tonnes in FY 13. Domestic freight traffic also increased at a CAGR of 7.1 per cent over FY 06-13 while international freight traffic rose 6.2 per cent over the same period. In FY13, domestic freight traffic was 0.78 million tonnes, while international freight traffic was at 1.41 million tonnes.
The government has done its bit to support the airport sector in the country. It has focused on infrastructure as well as liberalised policies. One such policy is, the Open Sky Policy – a concept that calls for the liberalisation of the rules and regulations of the international aviation industry (especially commercial aviation) so as to foster a free-market environment for the airline industry. Furthermore, it has constantly provided policy sops and encouraged foreign direct investment.
The Indian aviation sector is likely to see investments totalling US$ 12.1 billion during the Twelfth Five Year Plan. It aims to boost MRO business in India, which is currently worth US$ 500 million and is estimated to grow over US$ 1.5 billion by 2020.