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India has potential to become global aviation hub, says Vice President

States must partner with Centre in a true ‘Team India’ spirit for building a new prosperous, inclusive New India

Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has the potential to become global aviation hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs.

He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the first International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore and laying foundation stone for the Integrated Passenger Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport, in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh today.

The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri Jayant Sinha, the Minister for Finance, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Y. Ramakrishnudu, the Minister for Law, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Kollu Ravindra and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that the International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore that would further enhance the connectivity as well as Andhra Pradesh’s business and tourism potential.

He further said that the state of the art new terminal will spread in 35000 Sqm is being developed with Rs 611 crores budget to handle 1200 passengers per day with 24 Check-in counters and 8 gates. The terminal would also accommodate parking facility for 1250 four wheelers, he said.

A total of 14 immigration counters, 3 customs counters, 5 baggage belts would be installed for the convenience of international and domestic passengers, he added.

The Vice President said that the new Air connectivity between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore would increase India’s reach in South East Asia. Andhra Pradesh would become aviation gateway between the two prospering regions and it will boost tourism, he added.

The Vice President tasked the state government to actively promote tourism especially the Budhist Circuit along with other tourist attractions in the state.

Shri Naidu appreciated the efforts of the State and Central governments in facilitating the state of Andhra Pradesh with Air Connectivity under UDAAN Scheme. He said that the scheme would enable greater connectivity between Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Chennai.

The Vice President said that the recent aviation initiatives such as development of Vizag Airport at the cost of 90 Crores, extension of runway at Rajahmundry Airport at the cost of 125 Crore and extension of runway at Tirupati Airport at the cost of 114 Crore would give philip to the growth prospects of the state.

Shri Naidu also appreciated the authorities for adopting an eco friendly infrastructure in constructing the new integrated terminal at Vijayawada Airport. He said that the features such as Rain Water Harvesting, double insulated roofing, LED lighting would conserve energy and reduce wastage of water.

Calling aviation sector as the backbone of the global transport system, Shri Naidu said that was indeed an important driver of the economy and the most vital sector for linking businesses, bringing people together and promoting tourism worldwide. Growth in aviation sector would yield positive results in promoting connectivity and creating jobs, he added.

Shri Naidu said that the government has taken a series of measures to improve infrastructure and regional air connectivity in the country and added that schemes such as UDAN would develop regional connectivity and promote economically viable flights on regional routes.

The Vice President called upon State Governments to partner with the Centre in a true ‘Team India’ spirit for building a new prosperous, inclusive New India by creating the right ecosystem for the growth of various sectors. The political differences between parties must end with elections and focus should be given to governance after assuming power, he added.

The Vice President said that increase in public investments in infrastructure projects of aviation and other areas were contributing in overall development of economy. Indian economy which is growing at a steady pace and the systemic governance reforms are helping to create a more inclusive society, he added.

Shri Naidu said that India has the potential to become a global hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs.

The Vice President said that the 14.1 per cent growth over the last five years in passenger traffic was a key indicator of its progress and said that reforms, systematic development of the sector would make a global hub for MRO. I do understand that in spite of the growth in passenger traffic, some of the airlines are facing problems and I do hope that things would improve soon for them, he added.

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