On 18 February 1911, the first commercial civil
aviation flight took off from Allahabad for Naini over a distance of 6 miles
(9.7 km). A French aviator, Henri Pequet, carried 6,500 pieces of mail on a Humber biplane from the exhibition, to the receiving
office at Allahabad.
This was the world’s first official airmail service. Thereafter in
1932, Tata and Sons, started TATA Airlines and on the 15th of
October 1932, J.R.D TATA flew a consignment of mail from Karachi to Juhu Airport, aboard an airline which would late
be known as Air India in 1946.
In 1934, Aircraft act was
passed to better the control of manufacturing, possession, use,
operation, sale, Import and export of aircraft. Further policy wise progress in
aviation sector is then seen post-independence in 1948 through setting up of
the Co-Air international Ltd. by the govt of India.
In 1953 Aviation sector was nationalised by the enactment of the Corporation
act (which was later repealed during the liberalisation of the sector).
Although Aviation sector existed in India prior to liberalisation, it was
heavily nationalised with only two main state run operators i.e Air India (AI)
and Indian Airlines (IA).
While Indian Airlines operated domestically, Air India operated
Private operators were not
allowed to operate in the sector until 1986.
In 1986, private taxis were granted permission which was further encouraged
with the passage of the Open Sky Act in 1990 which marked the beginning of
liberalisation of the sector.
The Airports Authority of India was established in the year 1994 by the passing
of the Airports Authority of India act. This act laid the much needed
foundation for the lacking infrastructure
in the Aviation sector in India.
The Indian economy, which is integrating itself into the
global economy, requires the upgradation and modernisation of infrastructure
and its efficient use. Gone are the days when aviation was considered a mere
mode of transport for the elite, it is now crucial for sustainable development
of trade and tourism. In this context, it is vital that airport infrastructure
grows in anticipation of the escalating needs of the aviation sector.
Quality of Airport
infrastructure in a country is of vital economic importance when it comes to
transport and trade. Although, cargo carried by air, in India weighs less than
1% of the total cargo exported, it accounts for 35% of the total value of
exports; on the other hand, 97% of the country’s tourists arrive by air and
tourism is the nation’s second largest foreign exchange earner,
(Policy of airports, AAI).
We can see form some of the
objectives of the AAI (Airports Authority of India) such as
to provide a boost to international trade and
tourism and enhance the country’s image in the community of nations
to provide airport capacity ahead of demand, in
order to handle an increasing volume of air traffic and to garner the maximum
share of traffic in the region
to provide a market orientation to the present
structure, bridge the resource gap and encourage greater efficiency and
enterprise in the operation of airports, through the introduction of private
capital and management skills
That it had an undeniable impact on the aviation sector and
air transport in India which can be classified into its impact that has
contributed to the existing scenario and its future prospects
A Present condition
currently (as of 2012-13), AAI owns and manages 125 airports and
26 civil enclaves at defence airfields and provides air traffic services over
the entire Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas.
In 2013-14, all Indian airports/civil enclaves handled 1.54
Million aircraft movements involving 46.62 Million domestic and 122.29 Million
international passengers, and 1.4 Million metric tonnes of domestic and 1.44
Million metric tonnes of International cargo. 77.6% of traffic was handled by
top ten airports -Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad,
Cochin, Ahmedabad, Goa and Pune. Presently, the various airlines are operating
only through 90 airports. The remaining are lying unutilised, at best handling
occasional aircraft operations, (Airport policy, AAI).
The following table illustrates the share of
passenger traffic at the 5 most prominent airports in the country
TOTAL OF 5 AIRPORTS
Source: AAI, Airport Policy.
B FUTURE TRENDS:
Taking the base year as 2012-13, we have the projected
International and domestic
Aircrafts movements till 2022-23 as being up to 7.6% and 8% respectively,
while passenger traffic is expected to be 7% and 10% respectively.
International and domestic freight carriage up to the same period is expected
to be 8% and 8.5% respectively.
Source: AAI, Airport Policy
Having read the above abstract, it becomes clear as to how
inter-related, the Aviation sector and Airports Authority of India are.
1. Thus this paper aims at giving theoretically, an economic explanation,
highlighting the importance and in turn the impact of the Airports Authority of
India on the Aviation sector and Air transport in India.
2. To present a study as to how privatization of Airports Infrastructure
management is affecting AAI.
IMPACT of AAI
The Impact that the Airports Authority of India has on the
Aviation sector can be studied through its functions which can further be
classified into, services currently provided and its future service provision
As per the corporate plan (2017-26) of the AAI, following is
a list of the basic services which are currently provided by AAI.
Provide air traffic service and air transport
service at any airport and civil enclaves
Allow for airport operations on public private
partnerships (PPP) basis
Manage airports, civil enclaves and aeronautical
Plan, develop, construct and maintain runways,
taxiways, aprons and terminals and ancillary buildings at airports and civil
Plan, procure, install and maintain navigational
aids, communication equipment, beacons and ground aids at airports and at such
locations as may be considered necessary for safe navigation and operation of
Provide air safety services and search and
rescue facilities in co-ordination with other agencies
Establish schools or institutions or centres for
the training of its officers and employees in regard to any matter connected
with the purposes of this Act
Construct residential buildings for its
Arrange for postal, money exchange, insurance and
telephone facilities for the use of passengers and other persons at airports
and civil enclaves
Develop and provide consultancy, construction or
management services, and undertake operations in India and abroad in relation
to airports, air navigation services, ground aids and safety services or any
Some of AAI’s future endeavours
Change in classification of airports
Modernisation and Upgradation of Airport
Source AAI, Airport Policy.