The number of air travellers in the country is slated to rise more than threefold to 218 million by 2025 from 70 million in 2015 and each metro requires a second greenfield airport to handle the traffic, a report says. According to the report commissioned by Vistara airline and conducted by industry body CAPA (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation), aviation can contribute 5% to the country's GDP or USD 250 billion by 2025. This would mean the existing airports in the metros would not be able to meet the rising demand.
By the turn of 2015, international traffic to the country would be 120 million, up from 51 million, the report said, adding that this would further jump to 254 million by 2035, while the domestic load would stand at 527 million by 2035. Similarly, the report pegs the fleet strength to rise more than threefold to 1,084 by 2025 from 394 in 2015 and further to 2,564 by 2035.
The report called for increasing investment in airport infrastructure, airspace management and skill development as the sector is going to witness massive demand by 2025, which would necessitate that each of the major metros would have to have a new second airport. It said the incremental domestic traffic handled in the past 10 years was almost three times greater than in the previous 50 years.
The Vistara-CAPA report, titled 'Maximising the contribution of aviation to the economy', projected employment generation of over 2.3 million (both direct and indirect) by 2050. While the aviation sector today contributes just USD 23 billion to the GDP of the country, which is a tad over USD 2 trillion, it is close to 6% of GDP in the US and over 27% of Dubai's GDP, the report said.
The country is headed for an air traffic logjam with most of the existing metro airport infrastructure getting saturated in the next five years, the report said. It called for setting up of an airports approval commission to determine what kind of airports the country requires, when and where they are required, how much capacity is necessary and the level of capex that should be invested.