Will double the capacity of India’s civil aviation and steel sector by 2030: Jyotiraditya Scindia at 49th National Management Convention


New Delhi: India is civil aviation sector is set to double the number of airports and travellers in the next 5-7 years and India’s steel production will also double by 2030, said Mr Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Government of India at AIMA’s 49th National Management Convention (NMC) in New Delhi.


Mr Scindia engaged in a fireside chat with Mr TV Narendran, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Steel at the NMC this morning.


The minister said that the paradigm in India’s civil aviation sector has been turned on its head, as building of airports is leading economic growth instead of cities asking for airports after economic growth. He pointed out that the 67 new airports have been added since 2013-14 taking the total number of flying points in the country to 141 and he promised to raise that number to about 220 in the next 5-7 years.


“Time is scarce now and demand for civil aviation has grown,” he said pointing out that the number of air travellers in the country has grown from 73 million in 2013-14 to 144 million today and international travellers number has gone from 37 million to 60 million in the same period. He said that the aggregate number of travellers will double to about 400 million over the next 5-7 years.


Similarly, the capacity of India’s steel sector, between the integrated plants and the secondary steel makers, will go up to 300 million tonnes a year from the present 155 million tonnes, Mr Scindia promised.


The minister pointed out that India’s civil aviation sector has seen entry of a new airline after two decades after many exits during the period. “We are looking at capacity building and creating an ecosystem similar to that of the auto sector,” he said. He said that steps are being taken to set up ancillaries to support OEMs, including flying training and drones.


Responding to an audience question about the sustainability of airports in tier 2-3 cities, the minister said that it was important to see projects. He said that the ministry is looking at last mile connectivity, as people want to travel by the fastest mode at most economical costs. He pointed out that the traffic growth at non-metro airports had grown at a CAGR of 31.6% between 2015 and 2020. He said that ATR72 and ATR42 planes were being introduced on hill routes to mitigate the load penalty and reduce costs. He promised to increase helicopter services substantially and pointed out that 25 new routes have been awarded under the Udaan scheme. “The last mile connectivity will bring the edges of India into the mainstream,” he said


Responding to Mr Narendran’s question about the climate change impact of aviation and steel sectors, Mr Scindia said that the civil aviation sector’s contribution to global greenhouse gases is only 2% but it it noticed more because of its high visibility. However, he said, the sector is shouldering its responsibility and establishing carbon mapping at all airports. He pointed out that the private airports of Kochi and Delhi have achieved carbon neutrality and promised that by 2024, Airport Authority’s 92 airports will become carbon neutral. Regarding achieving carbon neutrality of flights, the minister said that it would depend on fuel technology. He pointed out that though sustainable aviation fuel can be mixed with aviation fuel but its production scale and logistics are still inadequate.


On reducing carbon intensity of steel sector, the minister said that use of carbon-limiting raw material and the technology of blast furnaces are the keys to making green steel.


Mr Scindia emphasized the importance of the steel sector to the country saying that it was fundamental to India’s manufacturing economy, and he said that India needed to build its brand in the global steel market. He said that the government would set national standards for steel so that the steel made in India is world class irrespective of which company makes it. He pointed out that the government’s production-linked investment scheme for speciality steel had attracted 79 applications and new capacity for 28 million tonnes has been approved. He said that the domestic demand for steel is growing rapidly and the Rs 10.7 lakh crore capex programme from the government will increase the demand for steel.


AIMA President and Chairman & Managing Director, CavinKare, Mr C K Ranganathan pointed out that India has tremendous new opportunities as the world is undergoing a dramatic change.


Vice President, AIMA and Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Triveni Turbine, Mr Nikhil Sawhney pointed out that at the moment, India is being wooed by everyone and India should use its strong position to bargain for a better deal and push for a more favourable economic and political order.


The session was attended by business leaders from all over India and it was also live streamed on AIMA’s social media channels.