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  • The airport sector has witnessed robust growth in the past few years, maintaining a double digit increase in traffic. During the period 2013-14 to 2017-18, passenger and cargo traffic grew at a CAGR of 16 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

  • The government's ambitious plan to provide air connectivity to unserved and under-served destinations has met with success. So far, Rounds I and II of the Regional Connectivity Scheme have been completed and a total of 453 routes have been awarded. Bids for Round III of the scheme have been invited recently.

  • In another significant development, the Ministry of Civil Aviation tabled the AERA Amendment Bill, 2018 in Parliament. The bill seeks to change the definition of major airports and devise new tariff models for aerodromes.

  • However, capacity creation continues to be an area of concern. While several AAI airports are already operating beyond their design capacities, the metro airports in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai are also at high risk of saturation. As a result, AAI has set a target of almost doubling its terminal capacity to 300 million in its Corporate Plan 2017-26.

  • Meanwhile, substantial progress has been made under the government's greenfield airport development agenda. After significant delays, construction of the Navi Mumbai and Mopa airports is expected to commence soon. Meanwhile, the development of the Jewar, Bhogapuram, Dholera, Purandar and Rajkot airports is also being considered. In November 2018, the cabinet approved the leasing out of the Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru airports on a PPP basis.

  • The government's long-pending plan to privatise airports has inched forward. In November 2018, the cabinet approved the leasing out of the Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru airports on a PPP basis.

  • Going forward, technology will be a game changer, especially in the area of airport security and surveillance. AAI has installed multilevel in-line baggage screening systems (ILBSs) at several airports including the Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Calicut airports. There is also a focus on developing airports for the future through the deployment of new digital solutions.

  • The overall outlook for the sector is promising as the government is planning to develop 100 airports at an investment of $65 billion over the next few years. Besides, the authority has chalked out a capex plan of Rs 25 billion to modernise and augment ANS infrastructure in the next five years.

  • In order to realise these targets, significant attention needs to be given to critical issues such as a reduction in aviation turbine fuel taxes and airport charges, and delays in land acquisition and coordinated clearances..

  • The mission of this conference is to highlight the recent trends and developments in the airports sector, examine the new opportunities, and analyse the impact of recent policy and regulatory initiatives. It will also showcase the latest innovations, most promising technologies and noteworthy projects.

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