The government has set a target of increasing the number of airports from 140 to 220 by 2025, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Lok Sabha, as he expected that the revival of the sector, scarred by the pandemic, may lead to a substantial jump in passenger traffic.
Replying to a discussion on the demands for grants for his ministry, which was passed by the House, Scindia said there were 74 airports till 2014 while 66 new ones were added in the past seven years. “We have nearly doubled the capacity (in seven years). Our resolve is now to take this number up to 220 by 2025,” he said, adding that his ministry has also set a target of increasing air traffic to 40 crore by 2023-24.
As per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation data, 8.38 crore people travelled on domestic flights in 2021, as compared to 6.3 crore in 2020 — the year of Covid outbreak and long lockdowns. The number of passengers increased from 6.7 crore in 2013-14 to 14.5 crore in 2018-19. Scindia said 3. 8 lakh passengers flew daily in the past seven days.