New Delhi: Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri inaugurated a roundtable conference on 'Regional Cooperation: Neighbourhood First-Aviation Infrastructure, Connectivity & Capacity Building.' The event was organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in partnership with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
It focussed on the opportunities available and the solutions that are on offer for enhancing cooperation in critical areas like airport infrastructure development; increasing air connectivity, and collaborations for capacity building in the region.
Addressing the gathering, Puri, said, "Indian aviation industry has been instrumental in the overall economic development of the country. The aviation sector growth in the region has thrown up tremendous opportunity and challenges to India and other countries in the region. India as a State has been working with zeal to create infrastructure in Air Transport and Air Navigation Services. The high-quality airport infrastructure, growing economy and necessary Government support, adds to the potential of India becoming a global aviation hub. India would be keen to offer solutions and support for aviation infrastructure, connectivity & capacity building to its immediate neighbourhood."
Heads of Missions from 11 APAC countries, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary at Minister of Civil Aviation, TS Tirumurti, Secretary at ER, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and senior officials from the government and industry also attended the event.
Speaking at the Conference, Kharola pointed out that the Indian aviation sector has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. It was now in a position to support the regional cooperation operatives from South Asia and South East Asian countries with rigorous inputs and engagements to upgrade infrastructure, build capacity and develop air connectivity and people-to-people linkages through technology transfers, capacity creation and sharing of know-how.
The roundtable was significant as it highlighted key opportunities that could strengthen regional and bilateral partnerships. It was noted that Regional air connectivity and the development of aviation infrastructure and services amongst the nations in the South Asian and South East Asian region is a key driver for the increased growth of regional partnerships and development. India and its regional neighbours already share multiple lines of credit that cover projects in areas of airports and aviation, port construction, railways, roads, power and energy, telecommunications, and shipping etc.