Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India after laying foundation stone for the Integrated Passenger Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport and inaugurating the first International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore.

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh | December 4, 2018

"I am extremely delighted to be here for the Bhoomi Puja to construct an Integrated Passenger Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport and also inaugurate the first international flight from Vijayawada to Singapore.

Vijayawada located on the banks of river Krishna is indeed a blessed city with a great cultural history. As the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is politically active, agriculturally-rich and also an industrial transportation hub.

Consequent to the Andhra Pradesh State Re-organization Act 2014, Amaravati, which is adjoining Vijayawada, is being developed as the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Inauguration of the new international flight from this great city to Singapore would further enhance its connectivity as also its business and tourism potential.

Infrastructure is vital for development and the Union Government is bestowing special attention on the aviation sector in this regard. Public investments in infrastructure projects of aviation and other areas also have increased substantially.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

India is in the midst of an unprecedented economic and social transformation. The economy is growing at a steady pace and the systemic governance reforms are helping to create a more inclusive society. Most of the multilateral institutions have forecast that India will grow at more than 7 percent in 2018 and 2019, ahead of other major economies.

Friends, as you all are aware the aviation sector not only plays a key role in promoting connectivity and creating jobs but is also an important driver of the economy. As the backbone of the global transport system, it indeed is the most vital sector for linking businesses, bringing people together and promoting tourism worldwide.

I am happy to note that the proposed new Integrated Terminal Building is planned by incorporating Green Building features such as the use of Eco friendly sustainable building material i.e. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified woodwork with Green Construction Management, LED Lighting control through Building management system(BMS), Solar photo voltaic system, Energy efficient E&M equipment, sensor based Water Fixtures, Waste water management and Solid waste management with membrane bioreactor (MBR) based sewage treatment plant (STP )

Recognizing the growing importance of the aviation sector, the Government has taken a series of measures to improve infrastructure and regional air connectivity in the country. The UDAN scheme aims to develop regional connectivity and promote economically viable flights on regional routes.

The Indian civil aviation industry is growing at a rapid pace and considered to be the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world. According to projections, it is poised to become the world’s largest domestic civil aviation market in the next 10 to 15 years. Investments to the tune of Rs.1 lakh crore are expected in the next five years.

The passenger traffic which witnessed 14.1 per cent growth over the last five years is likely to touch about 400 million by the year 2020.

Of course, I do understand that in spite of the growth in passenger traffic, some of the airlines are facing problems and I do hope that things would improve soon for them.

India also has the potential to become a global hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs.

We are also among a few countries in the world which took bold steps of privatizing the industry.

The global airlines body, International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected the Asia-Pacific region to be the driver of the passenger growth with more than half the total number of new passengers coming from these markets over the next 20 years.

The present global trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037 and this doubling of air passengers could support 100 million jobs globally, according to IATA.

My compliments to Government of India for the sincere efforts to provide air connectivity and to make air travel accessible to citizens in the regionally important cities, through the 'Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik' (UDAN) under Regional Connectivity Scheme.

The National Civil Aviation Policy unveiled in 2016 has mentioned that if every Indian in the middle class income bracket takes just one fight a year, it would result in a sale of 35 crore tickets.

It should be noted that the growth of the aviation sector will have a multiplier effect on the Indian economy as it would positively impact hospitality and tourism sectors, among others.

I would like various State Governments to partner with the Centre in a true ‘Team India’ spirit for building a new prosperous, inclusive New India by creating the right ecosystem for the growth of various sectors. Political differences should end with elections

In the end, I would appeal to all airlines and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to accord highest priority to passengers’ safety, timely operations, efficient cargo handling and improving amenities to passengers.