Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu today held back-to-back meetings with various allied bodies of the ministry within days of assuming charge. “Conducted back to back meetings with officers from various departments, allied bodies of Ministry of Civil Aviation. Discussed various initiatives being taken by the Ministry, challenges involved and the roadmap ahead. We shall all work together with the mission to transform air travel in the country, make it more pleasurable, augment air connectivity under leadership of Hon. PM Narendra Modi ji,” Suresh Prabhu shared on his social media handles. FinancialExpress.com learns that multiple strategies to expedite major AAI (Airports Authority of India) airport projects, improve passengers experience and promote skill development in the sector were discussed.
“The meeting focused on many areas – from fast-tracking airport projects in the pipeline like Navi Mumbai, Jewar, Mopa (Goa) among others to benchmarking airport service standards of Indian airports to those around the world,” sources tell FE Online. Prabhu also stressed on the need to encourage skill development in the sector, sources said adding that the minister believes the aviation sector can provide jobs to thousands if the necessary skills are taught. Yet another crucial aspect that found attention was airport security. Suresh Prabhu, who is also the Commerce Minister, took charge of the Civil Aviation ministry on March 12. The development comes at a time when the government is planning to sell off the aviation giant Air India.
The step to fast-track major airport projects around the country and also benchmark service standards to those around the world is likely to cheer passengers. Interestingly, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport were ranked the world’s best airports in the over 40 million per annum passengers category. In the 15 to 25 million passengers category, Bengaluru airport was rated the best, while Chennai airport was third. Hyderabad airport was adjudged the best in the 5 to 15 million passengers category and Kolkata, Pune and Cochin bagged the third spot in the same category.
The fact that Indian airports bagged top ranks in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards for 2017 would come as an encouraging sign and big boost for India that is looking to create world-class infrastructure. Prabhu’s plans to step up pace on upcoming projects and ensure further benchmarking to global standards will be a definite step forward that direction.