In the Union Budget 2022-23, the government has allocated Rs 106.67 billion for the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). As per the government’s annual financial statement, Rs 105.91 billion has been allocated for revenue disbursement, while Rs 7.646 million has been allocated for capital disbursements to the civil aviation sector. This allocation of Rs 106.67 billion is 230.76 per cent higher than the Rs 32.25 billion allocated in 2021-22. This year’s budget also includes an amount of Rs 519.71 billion towards the settlement of outstanding guaranteed liabilities of Air India and its other sundry commitments. Allocations to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) declined by about 11 per cent from Rs 51.4 billion in 2021-22 to Rs 45.74 billion in 2022-23.
The Economic Survey 2021-22 highlights:
- India has emerged as one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. The domestic traffic in India has more than doubled from around 61 million in 2013-14 to around 137 million in 2019-20, registering a growth of over 14 per cent per annum.
- Initiatives to boost the aviation sector include calibrated opening of the domestic sector as the first wave of the pandemic ebbed, introduction of air transport bubbles or air travel arrangements with specific countries, disinvestment of Air India, privatisation and modernisation/expansion of airports, boost to the regional connectivity scheme – “Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik” (RCS-UDAN), incentivisation of maintenance, repair and overhaul operations, etc.
- During the last four years after the commencement of the UDAN scheme, 948 valid awarded routes have been allotted to various airlines, of which 389 RCS routes connecting 62 unserved and underserved airports (including 6 heliports and 2 water aerodromes) have been operationalised so far.
- The government liberalised the Drone Rules, 2021 in August 2021 and released a performance-linked incentive scheme for drones on September 15, 2021.
- With the accelerated pace of vaccine roll-out and easing of travel restrictions globally, the Indian aviation sector has started to rebound. Besides growing month on month, air cargo operations are already performing strongly with the resurrection of the economy, supported by a robust rebound in business confidence and boosted by resilient domestic demand, including through e-commerce.