Held from March 24–27, 2022, the biennial event’s main theme was “India@75: New Horizon for Aviation Industry”
Wings India 2022, claimed to be Asia’s largest event on civil aviation including commercial, general and business aviation concluded at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad on March 27, 2022. Making a comeback in the post-Covid world, the show served as a reminder of physical interactions’ importance at such global events. Many senior officials of the central as well as various state governments, CEOs of various companies from the aviation sector, and other stakeholders marked the attendance.
Held from March 24-27, 2022, with the first two days being the business days and the rest for the general public, the event was formally inaugurated by Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India on March 25, 2022.
“We don’t believe in square tables; we believe in roundtables at our Ministry to ensure the success of this sector and our country at large. The government will be a constructive collaborator with all stakeholders of the aviation sector and work with them for the development of Civil Aviation in the country,” the Minister said during the inauguration.
The event that was organised jointly by the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India (MoCA) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), had the main theme as “India@75: New Horizon for Aviation Industry”. In line with the theme, the biennial event emerged as a platform to highlight the growth and opportunities specifically in the Indian civil aviation market.
India’s civil aviation is believed to be among the fastest-growing aviation markets globally and contributes an estimated $72 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as highlighted on the show’s official website. It is evaluated as a major growth engine in making India a $5 trillion economy. The nation is also prophesied to be the third largest aviation market by domestic air passenger traffic which stood at 341.05 million in FY20 and grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.13 per cent during FY16-FY20.
Scindia echoed the sentiments that the civil aviation sector will play an important role in the country’s development. The sector has economic multiple of 3.1 and employment multiple of 6.1. It means that the investment of a rupee in the civil aviation space adds 3.1 to the economy in the long run, and for every one direct employment, 6.1 indirect jobs are created. Civil aviation is one of the largest employment and output generating sector in the world.
Indian aviation market promises to offer plenty of opportunities and the Wings India 2022 became a common vantage forum connecting buyers, sellers, investors, and other stakeholders. This was additionally consequential coming at a time when the Indian aviation industry is expecting some major changes in its landscape and the global aviation sector too is going through transitions after the pandemic’s turmoil.
The inaugural session, which was followed by a Ministerial plenary, was attended by Jean Baptiste Djebbari, Minister of State for Transport, France; Ngampasong Muongmany, Vice Minister of Public Works and Transport, Laos; Prem Bahadur Ale, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal; Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry; Dushyant Chautala, Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana; Nakap Nalo, Minister of Civil Aviation, Arunachal Pradesh. Rajeev Bansal, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Government of India; Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI); Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA; Remi Maillard, Chair, FICCI Civil Aviation Committee and President & MD, Airbus Group were also on the dais during the inaugural event.
The Civil Aviation Minister also participated in the Global CEO’s Forum which was a roundtable session with the CEOs of airlines, airports, suppliers, investors from across the world. The session focused on the contribution of participating countries in terms of facilitating maintenance, training, upgrades, flight operations in India and across the globe. Strategies to strengthen commercial aviation services, the current state of the world economy, the post-pandemic crisis, and the impact of the ongoing Geo-political scenario on the global aviation sector were some of the key issues deliberated during the session.
The Indian Aviation sector has passed through a lot of trials and tribulations during the pandemic period, but it is emerging stronger, fitter and ready to face challenges and tap the opportunities, stated the Minister. He also added, “The sector has shown resilience, and by next year, we will surpass the pre-Covid number of domestic passengers. With international flights also being fully resumed, the number of international travellers from India will also jump rapidly.”
Talking about the metamorphosis in the Indian Civil aviation sector in last seven years, the Minister said that there has been expansion across the spectrum in the sector, with the number of airports in the country going up from 74 in 2013-14 to almost 140 (including Heliports and water domes). The number is likely to go up to 220 by 2024-25. There were 400 aircraft in the country then and the number has gone up to 710 in seven years. More than 100 aircraft are intended to join every year. Regional connectivity is the focus of the government, with provision of last mile connectivity, he added.
Other components like Cargo, MROs, Flying Training Organisations (FTOs), Ground handlers, Drones, were also highlighted as important parts of the civil aviation ecosystem. Required actions for these are being nudged including new policy for MROs being announced and more training centres being added. The minister highlighted importantly that 15 per cent of the Indian pilots are women, which is three times the global average. New helicopter policy has also been announced; for drones too, new policy has been announced and PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme has been initiated.
The official inauguration session also witnessed the release of knowledge paper, exhibitor’s directory and launch of Small Aircraft Sub-Scheme. The primary objective of the scheme is to facilitate and stimulate regional air connectivity by creating a growth-oriented framework with a specific focus on operations through small aircrafts (including seaplanes). The scheme intends to facilitate creation of an ecosystem for small aircraft operations in the country by providing the framework necessary for bringing together relevant stakeholders such as states, airlines, airport operators and policy makers to collaborate towards the success of this initiative.