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— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

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Accelerate Growth with GA/BA

The role that the business and general aviation industry can play in shooting up the economy of the country has been well put out there but still, hindrances remain

Issue: 04-2022By Ayushee Chaudhary

The business aviation industry, in India as well as in other parts of the world, has always faced the battle of perception. The industry has always been linked to luxury and presumed to be only for the rich business class people. However, last few years, the industry has constantly showcased itself not as a synonym of luxury but rather of efficiency, and safety. While the novel coronavirus hindered growth in multiple ways across industries, it halted travel and hence the aviation industry in a big manner in an attempt to avoid the crowd. This underlying necessity for hygiene and health safety gave an upper hand to the business aviation industry as more and more people started looking at it as a safer mode to commute. The industry witnessed many new players entering the market and a large number of first-time flyers.

In an attempt to bid adieu to the notions that restrict many people from travelling private, “No Plane No Gain”, a joint undertaking was taken up in 2009 by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). This campaign was designed with the aim to educate the public on the importance of business aviation in the country and its communities, companies and citizens. Though this comprehensive new joint advocacy campaign was designed for the American people at that time; gradually it expanded itself across the world, spreading awareness and information about the industry. Across the world, many such organisations have come up that are dedicatedly working in their respective countries to not just expand business aviation but more importantly relieve it from this perception paralysis. In India too, the Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) has been working towards the same for a decade now. The industry in India has constantly been on the roll to make people look at it beyond the realms of luxury. Additionally, the country is still facing many challenges in terms of taxes, and extended permissions and procedures that make the processes tedious for operators, sellers, buyers, manufacturers and all the stakeholders of the industry. From infrastructural restrictions to rigid regulations, higher taxes and operating costs to lack of awareness and accessibility, India’s business aviation market is facing problems while each company is trying to expand the size of its fleet, regional presence and operational services to capture a higher market share.

In the recent past the industry is seeing active participation and action from the government and administration. For instance, new airports are being added, last year Delhi’s first GA/BA terminal was inaugurated, leasing policies are being worked upon, tax redemptions are being discussed, fractional ownership is being aided. All of these attempts will not only make it easy for the business to be done but would also encourage more people to be a part of the industry. In that sense, COVID-19 proved to be a boon as it allowed more people to explore private aviation and be exposed to its benefits.

Across the world, business aviation did not do as bad and witnessed good activity. It allowed people to travel safely with limited crowds, reduced physical contact, decreased time to commute, and hygienic facilities. All of this made them see the benefits of private aviation. Alongside this, we cannot ignore the fact that business aviation aids the country’s economic growth. General and Business Aviation has emerged as an essential part of national transportation systems around the world. It is especially critical for connectivity and for businesses that need to move efficiently in growing economies like India. With more business people travelling private, their work gets done faster and efficiently which increases the productivity and allows more business to come in. This opens door for more employment opportunities that in turn facilitates growth.

The role that the business and general aviation industry can play in shooting up the economy of the country has been well put out there but still, hindrances remain on a large-scale level for this industry in India. BizAv has come a long way but it still has ways to go.

According to fortune business insights, the global business jet market size was $25.87 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from $29.03 billion in 2022 to $38.34 billion in 2029. This is the time for India too to grab this opportunity and make business aviation take-off on a smooth flight in the country in order to accelerate the overall growth of the nation. As India hopes for the ambitious target of $5 trillion economy by 2025, this can be majorly contributed by BA and GA if supported with certain significant reliefs and collaborative steps.