Address by Governor at the Valedictory Session of the Global Aviation Summit 2019
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Valedictory Session of the Global Aviation Summit 2019 organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation at The Grand Hyatt, Mumbai 1530 hrs on Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India, Shri Jayant Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Civil Aviation Ministers from various countries, Shri R N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri Sandip Somany, President, FICCI, Smt Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, captains of industry, distinguished delegates, ladies & gentlemen,
I am delighted to associate myself with the Valedictory Session of the Global Aviation Summit 2019. I have great pleasure in acknowledging the presence of Civil Aviation Ministers from various countries, CEOs of various organisations, exhibitors and delegates.
At the outset, I congratulate Shri Suresh Prabhu ji, Hon’ble Union Minister for Civil Aviation for organising, for the first time, such a world class Civil Aviation Summit in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India.
I have had the privilege of working with Hon’ble Shri Suresh Prabhu in the government of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004. Shri Suresh Prabhu is widely respected because of his innovative ideas, leadership qualities, humility and accessibility. He has left an indelible imprint of his work in whichever portfolio he has handled. The Global Aviation Summit is a brilliant idea from a brilliant mind.
I also convey my appreciation to the Hon’ble Minister of State Shri Jayant Sinha, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, FICCI, Airports Authority of India and other organizations for their efforts in the successful hosting of the Summit.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The global aviation industry is ushering in an era of rapid expansion. The International Civil Aviation Organization has predicted a 100 percent increase in global air travel by the year 2030.
In India, the growth of the Civil Aviation Industry will be fastest among various segments. Aviation is going to be the growth engine for future progress and development.
During the last four years, the Government of India has taken several steps for the growth of the Civil Aviation sector.
Among the important initiatives taken by Government of India include the development of National Civil Aviation Policy and Regional Connectivity Scheme.
I had the honour of accompanying the Hon’ble President of India when he flagged off the first flight from the newly created Airport in the holy town of Shirdi last year.
I understand that the Ministry of Civil Aviation anticipates that the in the next two decades, air passenger traffic in India will grow to 1.12 billion passengers per year from the current 187 million passengers. Needless to say, this will open up tremendous opportunities for investment in infrastructure development and upgradation in the years to come. The industry will also require a large pool of skilled manpower.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India has given the call for doubling the income of farmers by 2022. I look at the Civil Aviation Sector as an important catalyst in achieving the goal of doubling the income of farmers, retailers and others in the small scale industries.
Last year, I had a meeting with the Vice President of Afghanistan at Raj Bhavan. During our discussion, he mentioned to me that there was no direct air connectivity between Kabul and Mumbai. The Afghan Vice President sought my help in starting direct cargo flight services between Kabul and Mumbai. I immediately spoke to the then Minister of Civil Aviation, and sought his urgent intervention. I am happy to state that within 15 days, the first cargo flight from Kabul carrying fresh apples landed in Mumbai. The same cargo flight, on its return journey, carried tomatoes and grapes from Maharashtra. A single cargo flight helped farmers and retailers from both countries. I believe that there are many such routes which need to be explored. One single trade route, the Silk Road, from the East to the West had enriched several countries of the world in the ancient past. I think every new aviation route can be a Silk Route for connecting countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I often mention that, gone are the days of Communism, Capitalism, or any other ‘isms’. The only ‘Ism’ that matters to us is, Tourism. Today more than ever, people are venturing out for tourism. Tourism, like aviation, is among the fastest growing industry.
India is home to hundreds of world class places of tourism. Tourism and aviation industries can complement each other and create numerous opportunities for employment and income generation for our people.
As the aviation industry gears up for the future challenges, we must intensify our search for alternative fuels. We need to see how biofuels can replace jet fuel in the coming years. This will reduce the aviation emissions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Terrorism has become a global phenomenon. We will have to accord highest priority to the safety and security of passengers.
I understand that very innovative and significant topics were discussed over the last two days. The interaction with global CEOs of the industry will certainly provide valuable insight in taking this forward. I will be happy if the Global Aviation Summit becomes an annual feature and I will be the happiest person if my state of Maharashtra remains the permanent venue for the Summit!!
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!