According to the most recent ACI forecasts, India will become the third largest passenger aviation market by 2021, needing to accommodate 429 million passengers per year.
The country is also forecast to handle 4.4 million tonnes of cargo per year making it the seventh cargo aviation market.
And, in order to meet this demand – and for airports to continue to deliver the social and economic benefits that aviation generates – ACI World's director general, Angela Gittens, is urging policy makers and regulators to provide a proportionate, clear and consistent regulatory framework to facilitate successful private investment.
Speaking at the International Aviation Summit, in Delhi, India, Gittens said that strong competitive forces were shaping the industry’s positive response to the challenges of growth and that any national transport policy should have a long-term vision setting clear and firm objectives to achieve the modernisation of airports.
“India has proven that the partnership between public and private is a valid option to increase the quality of service for passengers. A clear and consistent legal framework should set the ground for further processes of privatisation of airports, including incentives to attract potential national and foreign investors.
"The Nabh Nirman 2018 initiative and the proposed new transaction model for future greenfield airports go in this direction."
International experiences, says ACI, show that disproportionate attempts to regulate the airport business could discourage investment in the future.
This, it insists, would increase the risk of serious capacity constraints which could limit economic development and result in bottlenecks, flight delays and deteriorating customer service.
“As India prepares to become the third largest aviation market in the world, airports, airlines, and other aviation partners must continue to work together to accommodate this accelerating growth,” notes Gittens.
“Governments and regulators must enable this by providing clear and proportionate regulatory oversight so that Indian airports can maintain their global leadership in service quality and remain a global benchmark for customer experience.
“The scale of current and forecast demand at Indian airports requires significant investment to maintain and enhance infrastructure as well as passenger service capacity at an appropriate level of quality.
"The travelling public`s expectations for the airport customer experience continues to increase as airports globally have raised their performance levels in this regard.
"The Airport Service Quality benchmarking programme, with more than 340 airports surveyed across the globe, has proven to be an effective objective tool to measure service quality and passenger satisfaction and to drive performance by Indian airports for the benefit of the passengers and the airlines on which they fly”.