India will be the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020, according to a new report by CAPA, the Centre for Aviation and SITA.
According to the report, about 452 million passengers are expected to fly each year by 2020 with the number of aircraft rising to about 1,030.
With passenger numbers rising, the report suggests that major cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata will require second airports, while Mumbai will require a third airport in ten years.
India’s Civil Aviation secretary, Nasim Zaidi, said that the huge growth in air traffic presents a number of challenges for the country’s aviation industry.
"To address these, investment in infrastructure and skills will be needed. Perhaps even more importantly, technological innovation will be required to bring efficiency and speed to the sector," Zaidi said.
According to report, the number of carriers flying overseas from the country has increased to seven since 2000 while the passenger traffic has increased from 42 million to 150 million and the aircraft fleet has grown from 119 to 437.
The low-cost sector has reported massive growth and now represents 70% of the aviation market with Delhi airport is expected to handle over 90 million passengers by 2020.
SITA India director, Maneesh Jaikrishna, said: "This level of growth is inevitably accompanied by significant challenges and innovation will play an important part in addressing these to support the growing demands of India’s aviation."
Total investment in the Indian air transport industry since 2000 is approximated at $27bn and is anticipated to reach $120bn by 2020, of which about $80bn will be used to acquire new aircraft.
The country has to spend up to$2bn on air traffic control and over $1.5bn on upgrading security to meet the air traffic demands in 2020.
CAPA India CEO, Kapil Kaul, said: "Technology today has the potential to become far more pervasive and to transform the operations of airlines, airports, service providers and border control."
"In this report we set out to understand whether India’s aviation industry is positioned to grasp these opportunities, and to present a roadmap for the future," Kaul said.
The report said that since the 2010 aviation market report, the use of technology has been slow due to financial constraints while has increased the use of key IT solutions, which include websites for sales, implementation of common use terminal equipment (CUTE) in airports, common use self service (CUSS).
The deployed IT solutions also include baggage reconciliation systems, flight information display systems and others.
The report predicts that over the next few years there will be an increase in mobility solutions comprising mobile check-in, biometric identification systems, rise in use of the Cloud and social media applications amongst other developments.
Image: Delhi airport is expected to handle over 90 million passengers by 2020. Photo: New Delhi Airport