With a view to improve and upgrade the airport infrastructure the government is planning to spend a whopping sum of USD 10 billion in the next five years so that the country could become the world's third largest aviation market in seven years, Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey has said.
As many as 400 unused airstrips across the country that had become cattle grazing grounds, would be brought back to life, he said.
Addressing a day-long India Aviation Summit here on Thursday, Choubey said the Civil Aviation Ministry was determined to maintain the "historic" 23 per cent growth rate achieved in the aviation sector in the country.
"Our ultimate objective is to take the flight to the masses and to this end we have come up with a progressive policy. We have also undertaken a very very bold experiment called Regional Air Connectivity Scheme at the national level," the bureaucrat said.
"For the first time, the civil aviation sector has achieved rail parity. While the railways turnover is Rs 1.6 lakh crore, civil aviation turnover touched Rs 1.4 lakh crore and the number of rail and air passengers has also become ..
India's nearest rival in terms of aviation growth was China with 14 per cent. Progressive and proactive industry-friendly policies played a significant part in Indian aviation's growth story and not just the fall in fuel prices, Choubey remarked.