President releases coins to commemorate 100 years of civil aviation in India
Underlining the importance of aviation in economic development of countries, President Pratibha Patil on Monday sought “flexible business modules” for expansion of the aviation industry. “Innovative and flexible business modules may be evolved, enabling greater connectivity between countries to promote people-to-people contacts, as well as trade and business.
“To achieve this, governments must continually negotiate new bilateral treaties, to allow for and expand access to new and emerging markets for their carriers,” Ms. Patil said inaugurating the fourth International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) conference here.
“The potential for growth of civil aviation in India is huge with recent estimates suggesting that domestic air traffic will touch 160-180 million passengers annually in the next 10 years and international traffic will exceed 80 million passengers annually,” said Ms. Patil. “Aviation plays an important role in the economic development process of countries. Flying is no longer the prerogative of a few privileged, but an option for an increasingly broader section of society,” she said adding that the deregulation of the domestic sector and liberalisation of bilateral traffic rights in the past decade had brought choices of carriers, choices of timings and fares.
Highlighting the role of the public-private partnership (PPP) model, the President said that in the period from 2005 to 2010, $10 billion had been invested in airport development in the country, and the private sector played an unprecedented role by acting as a key contributor for the development of airports.
On the occasion, the President released coins to commemorate 100 years of Civil Aviation in India in the presence of Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Union Civil Aviation Minister Vyalar Ravi and President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Roberto Kobeh Gonzales.
This is the first time that the ICAN is being held in India.