India will soon have 150 to 200 operational airports says Jayant Sinha

India will soon have 150 to 200 operational airports says Jayant Sinha

More than 150 more operational airports would come up across India in coming few years including three airports in J&K, promised union minister Jayant Sinha, during his visit to Srinagar. The Aviation industry in India, Sinha said would soon be one of the biggest sectors in India, and it is already fetching revenue almost equal to Indian Railways and Telecom Industry.

The minister also announced that night landing facilities at Srinagar airport will come up soon and direct flights to Dubai and Kaula Lampur would be operational with in six months. In an attempt to boost tourism sector in Valley, Sinha said that direct flights to cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata would also be made operational.

Sinha was talking to young entrepreneurs in Srinagar at a function organized by Foundation for Resource Development and Education led by BJP leader Khalid Jehangir. J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu also addressed the gathering. The government is also planning to significantly increase highly specialized cargo facility at Srinagar airport, for storage of fresh flowers and fruits, which Sinha promised would also come up soon. A pilot training institute and helipads at distant tourist destinations within the state are also in pipeline.

“Tourism, horticulture and handicrafts have to be promoted in a creative and innovative way to boost it into a bigger industry which has a potential to get in thousands of crores to the state,” said Sinha, laying stress on thinking big while planning a venture.

In the eco-sensitive state of J&K, Sinha said that handicrafts could be promoted through a cultural fashion show in Srinagar, sending a message to the international fashion industry. Besides, setting up of units for electric motorcycle and even cars, Sinha said could be a future viable industry for the state. Aviation is going to be force multiplier for economy of J&K, said Sinha.

He also detailed about growing Aviation industry across India revealing that from current 200 million passenger trips the country would be reaching to around 1000 crore in around 10 to 15 years, thus surpassing US and China. The current NDA government Sinha said has constructed 25 new airports adding to 75 airports operational during the UPA II regime.

“We are aiming at around 150 to 200 operational airports in coming years. Right now our airlines fly 500 airplanes, which will increase to 2000 planes. Airlines operators have already placed firm orders for 935 more planes,” Sinha informed, adding, “Turnover of our airlines is around Rs 1.8lakh crore which is equal to Indian railways and telecom industry of the country.

J&K Finance minister was hopeful that the state has a potential to become the first knowledge based creative economy of the country.

“Kashmir is a presold destination. However peace is very important for any sector in the state to be successful and make a mark,” said Drabu.

Entrepreneurship is a dignified existence and our rich cultural heritage and crafts prove Kashmiris are born entrepreneurs, said Drabu adding, “Teaching Kashmiris entrepreneurship is like selling snow to Eskimos. Every household has an entrepreneurial capability since our Valley used to be a small artisanal craft based economy. We need to think at bigger levels to market our state and its produce at higher levels.”

Lack of private investment, Drabu said, is one of the reasons why businesses don’t grow in size in the state and it has to be increased.

“We should start looking at venture capitalists and angel investors and see how does that feed a young entrepreneur who doesn’t have a balance sheet. Financial institutions and banks have to leave lazy balance sheet based lending,” said Drabu.

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