SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years
I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.
My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.
Setting the stage for India's Commercial Aviation future, the biennial Wings India event, soars high in Hyderabad
In a spectacular four-day event held at Hyderabad's Begumpet Airport, the biennial Wings India 2024, encompassing Commercial, General, and Business Aviation, unfolded its wings under the inauguration of Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, the Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA). The event, organised by the MoCA in collaboration with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and FICCI, carried the theme "Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation @2047."
The biennial aviation event Wings India aimed to unite business leaders and policymakers. The primary objective of the event was to highlight India's prowess in the aviation sector and its emergence as the world's third-largest civil aviation market. Capturing the diverse aspects of India's civil aviation sector, from policy discussions and technological innovations to ambitious growth plans and global partnerships. The event stood as a testament to India's commitment to becoming a global aviation hub.
In a spectacular four-day event held at Hyderabad's Begumpet Airport, the biennial Wings India 2024, encompassing Commercial, General, and Business Aviation, unfolded its wings
The grand inauguration marked the commencement of a series of activities, including a global ministerial conference, a CEOs' forum, B2B/B2G meetings, an awards ceremony, cultural evening, and a business networking dinner. This four-day extravaganza aimed to unite industry leaders and policymakers, shedding light on India's growing significance as the world's third-largest civil aviation market.
In his inaugural address, the Minister emphasised the philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum," underlining civil aviation's role in connecting the world as one family. Highlighting India's aviation growth, he stated that the country, despite substantial progress, remains a highly under-penetrated market, with ambitious plans to reach 635 million domestic passengers by FY 2030.
The Union Minister said that Aviation sector is one of the key drivers of economic development and its growth in the emerging economies has been incredible. The aviation economy provides significant economic and social benefits as it facilitates tourism, trade, connectivity, generates economic growth, provides jobs, and provide a lifeline for remote communities and enable a rapid response during unprecedented situations. The Indian aviation sector symbolises 3As: Accessibility, Availability and Affordability.
Talking about India's civil aviation growth story, the Minister said that India is the shining star in the Civil Aviation landscape. "Total number of domestic pax rose from 60 million in 2014 to 143 million in 2020 growing at a CAGR of 14.5 per cent and is expected to have crossed the figure of 150 million in 2023. We are clocking more than 4.5 lakh Pax a day on a regular basis with a high of 4.67 lakh domestic passengers recently. In the six years leading to FY 2020 the number of international passengers had also grown at CAGR of 6.1 per cent. Domestic Cargo volumes handled by Indian airports in the 15 years leading to FY 2019 increased by 60 per cent while international cargo volumes increased by 53 per cent. Despite tremendous growth in recent times, India still remains highly under-penetrated market. Even if, as per projections, the number of domestic passengers reaches 635 million by FY 2030, India will still be one of the least penetrated of the 20 largest markets.", Scindia said.
The Minister said that under Prime Minister's flagship scheme RCS-UDAN, 76 airports in Tier-3 and Tier-4 and other remote corner of the country have been operationalised, thus enhancing last mile connectivity. "Over the past 6 years, UDAN has unlocked the true potential of our country by promoting tourism, boosting trade, and empowering local economies. Airstrips and Airports languishing since 2nd World War have been transformed under this scheme and are now giving wings to flyers in the remotest parts of the country. More than 1.32 crore people have benefited from this scheme in more than 2.5 Lakh flights. We have also provided VGF of almost 3,100 crores, awarded 1,300 UDAN routes and operationalised 517 routes under the scheme. To ensure seamless Last Mile Connectivity in the country we are also working promote growth of Helicopters and Small Aircrafts in India. We have conducted special UDAN rounds for Small Aircraft Schemes, Seaplane Routes and Helicopter Routes. To enhance safety of helicopter operations and provide all-weather day/night access, we are working to rollout a helicopter specific low-level IFR route using GAGAN. In addition to Aviation Infrastructure we are addressing issues of Capacity building across the value chain including Human Resources. We have liberalised policies so as to ensure adequate availability of Pilots, Cabin Crew, Engineers, etc in the country. We have substantially increased number of FTOs in the country which shall ensure adequate supply of trained resourced for the Industry. We have been issuing record number of Commercial Pilot Licenses in the country over the last two years with the figure crossing 1,622 CPLs in 2023 which surpassed the previous best figure of 1,165 CPLs clocked in 2022 by 40 per cent.", the Minister said.
Seven major announcements were made at Wings India 2024, including the launch of UDAN 5.3, Airbus-Air India Training Centre, and an order of 150 aircraft by Akasa Air
Scindia further added that India is expected to grow to 300 million domestic passengers by 2030 and would still be one of the most unpenetrated markets in the top 20 world markets. He stated that India is on the path of becoming the drone hub of the world and 10,000 women drone pilots would be covered under the government sponsored scheme. "India has become a shining star in the aviation landscape. India is the 7th largest civil aviation market in the world and if we consider both the domestic and international passengers, we stand as the 5th largest," he added.
Gen (Dr) V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State for Civil Aviation & Road, Transport and Highways, Government of India emphasised that the civil aviation is a lucrative sector for all over the world, contributing to both the national and global GDP.
Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Minister of Roads & Buildings and Cinematography, Government of Telangana, said that Hyderabad has become a hub for wings and global civil aviation. "Telangana is the fastest growing state in civil aviation with a thrust on aviation and aerospace," he added. Mr Reddy also highlighted that the state government was focusing on setting up a helipad in each district and Heli-tourism in Hyderabad and Vemulawada.
Asangba Chuba Ao, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India said that India was not just about planes and runways but is setting the tone for civil aviation with an international significance including major deals and substantive growth.
Remi Maillard, Chairman FICCI Civil Aviation Committee and President & Managing Director, Airbus (India & South Asia) shared industry insights and the more recent groundbreaking technological developments. He stated that the Paris Airshow held in 2023 was Indian air show with record aircraft bookings by Indian carriers.
Seven major announcements were made at Wings India 2024:
Against the backdrop of thrilling airshows and thought-provoking panel discussions, the Wings India Awards took center stage as Day 1 came to a conclusion. At the Wings India Awards 2024, joint honors were bestowed upon the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi as the 'Best Airport of the Year.' Spanning various categories, the awards recognised excellence in traffic handling, innovation, sustainability, and more. Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport was additionally honored for handling over 25 million passengers annually. Air India received the Best Airline for International Connectivity while Vman was honored with the "Best Leasing Company" award among other awards at Wings India 2024.
Wings India 2024 lived up to its theme, "Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for Indian Civil Aviation @2047." The airshow at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad featured a captivating display of creativity, with jets and rotors crafting mesmerising spirals that enthralled a large audience. A Drone Show was also organised after the show that was not just a visual feast but also narrated the story of aviation's evolution.
The Minister also inaugurated a VT-BXH, Air India Express' Boeing 737-8 with the beautiful Kalamkari pattern, at Wings India 2024 as a tribute to the rich heritage of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The four-day civil aviation show officially kicked off on January 18 and will run until January 21. Beyond the dazzling airshows, the event, jointly organised by MoCA & FICCI, is a showcase of cutting-edge technology in the aviation sector. It has become a meeting ground for stakeholders and participants from across the globe.
In a historic moment, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia unveiled India's first 'Airbus A350' aircraft on the first day of Wings India 2024. The arrival of this state-of-the-art aircraft not only bolsters Air India's fleet but also signifies India's growing stature as a global player in the aviation industry.
The arrival of state-of-the-art aircraft not only bolsters Air India's aircraft fleet but also signifies the country's growing stature as a global player in the aviation industry worldwide. The coming of the A350 coincides with a period of rapid growth and transformation for Air India. The airline is undergoing a comprehensive transformation aimed at renewing its fleet, expanding its global route network.
On the sidelines of Wings India 2024, Maillard said Airbus will double its sourcing from India to $1.5 billion by the end of the decade from the existing $750 million.
Several new EVTOLs companies showcased their ideas, prototypes and even mock ups to attract the industry, potential investors as well as the visitors towards their advanced technology. A captivating roundtable explored the transformative impact of drone technology on various sectors. Worldwide, drones are becoming crucial tools, from aiding police stations to delivering crucial medicines. Drone technologies are uplifting lives in agriculture, healthcare, and beyond, making a tangible impact on the aviation landscape.
The Advanced Air Mobility – India Conference featured panels on revolutionising transportation with localised eVTOL manufacturing, retrofitting cities with AAM infrastructure, ensuring air traffic management for AAM, and discussing regulatory aspects, including policy, economics, and legal considerations for developing an India CONOPS. Here are some key takeaways from the roundtable on "Drone Technology - Flight to the Future: Drones Revolutionising the Aviation Landscape":
Another panel focused on Sustainable Aviation, exploring the transformative power of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in navigating towards greener skies.
Women In Aviation was a powerful session where stories of progress, potential, and empowerment took center stage. The speakers shared their journey and insights on how women are carving their path, seeking specific training, and influencing organisational dynamics despite facing challenges.
A roundtable on Skill Development, Startups & FTO delved into efforts by the Government of India to foster talent in the aviation sector. Speakers highlighted initiatives starting from school days, emphasising the fusion of productivity and knowledge transfer. The discussion underlined the glamorisation of the aviation sector as a key driver in attracting and cultivating talent for future innovation and growth.
Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (MEHAIR) announced a conditional order for 20 ZeroAvia ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines at Wings India 2024. This strategic move aligns with India's vision for clean flights and involves retrofitting Cessna Aircraft Company Caravan to embrace clean energy. ZeroAvia, working on global certification, collaborates with MEHAIR for fuel supply.
A panel discussion on Travel and Tourism unveiled India's ambitious aim for a $3 trillion tourism market by 2047, contributing 6 per cent to GDP. The discussion highlighted the role of digitalisation in easing travel for foreign tourists and the expansion of Ayodhya to feature 8-9 properties, emphasising the pivotal role of green destinations.
An enlightening panel discussion chaired by Piyush Srivastava explored the immense potential of the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) sector in India and globally. The discussion showcased the sector's readiness to face challenges, regulatory excellence, efficient management of airport rentals, and collaborative policies shaping a robust future.
A roundtable on "Driving Investments & Financing for Multimodal Connectivity" in Airports of the Future highlighted airports as successful Public-Private Enterprises (PPEs) and the aviation sector as highly impactful. While airports evolve into dynamic centers of economic activity, challenges persist in their expansion to contend with increased accessibility and ridership.
In a high-energy roundtable, global delegates hailed India as the hottest and fastest-growing aviation market. The discussion focused on the colossal ecosystem of the industry, highlighting the vital mix of fleet, network, product, and connectivity. Against the backdrop of India's aviation surge, the sector propels forward, ensuring an exciting future.
A Bengaluru-based engineering company unveiled India's first-ever aircraft passenger seat at Wings India 2024, marking a significant step in aircraft design and innovation.
The event aimed to highlight India's prowess in the aviation sector and its emergence as the world's third-largest civil aviation market
Akasa Air has inked a strategic partnership with the upcoming Noida International Airport in Uttar Pradesh, making it the second airline to align with the ambitious project. According to a statement released by the airport, Akasa Air will station aircraft at the facility to facilitate both domestic and international flights.
GMR Aero Technic (GAT), MRO division of GMR Air Cargo and Aerospace Engineering Ltd (GACAEL) announced partnerships with Lufthansa Technik AG (LHT) and Spirit Aero System. A MoU was signed between GAT and LHT mutually agreeing to bring the innovative technology utilised by LHT's Cyclean jointly at Indian airports for the operators in the region. A strategic partnership was forged with Spirit Aero Systems establishing a cutting-edge Aircraft Nacelle component repair service at the GMR Aero Technic Base Maintenance Facility in Hyderabad. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in GMR Aero Technic's MRO journey, establishing its role as a one-stop destination for Nacelle repair services.
Wings India 2024 served not only as a showcase for the latest developments in the aviation industry but also as a catalyst for shaping its trajectory in the coming years.