Indian aviation sector to employ 4 million by 2035

The Indian domestic aviation sector is projected to employ nearly four million people in two decades, driven by improved economic activities and labour productivity, says a study instituted by the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry. While emphasising the need for having skill development programmes across various levels in the sector, the study has suggested setting up of the National Civil Aviation Training Entity (NCATE).

The study, done by ICRA Management Consultancy Services Ltd (IMaCS), comes at a time when the ministry is in advanced stages of finalising the civil aviation policy. “Our estimate indicates that by 2035, the Indian civil aviation sector (across the study segments of airport, airlines, cargo, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) and ground handling) will employ 0.8 to 1 million personnel directly and another 3 million indirectly (for 1 direct job about 3.5 indirect jobs are created),” the report said. The projection has been made after taking into account the likely improvements in economic output and labour productivity. “For the direct employment opportunities estimated, the airlines segment contributes the maximum share of 32 per cent followed by cargo at about 25 per cent, airport at 23 per cent (which also includes contractual staff), ground handling about 17 per cent and MRO about 3 per cent,” it noted.

Last year, IMaCS was asked to carry out a comprehensive study on skill gap analysis in the civil aviation sector and also formulate future road map in this regard. It was conducted during August-December 2015. According to the report, the new employment opportunities would not only call for enhanced functional and segment-specific competencies across levels but also demand several soft skills and domain-specific knowledge. “The government needs to seed a significant part of the initial investment to invigorate skill development in the sector. We estimate that this investment would be about Rs. 560 crore for kick-starting the skill development initiatives in the civil aviation sector,” it said. Among other suggestions for enhancing skill development in the civil aviation sector, the study has called for setting up NCATE that would oversee all training related activities. Going by estimates, the airport segment alone contributed to USD 1.4 billion to Indian GDP, apart from creating direct employment for about 22,000 persons as of 2015. The ministry has sought comments from the public on the ’Draft Report on Comprehensive Skill Gap Analysis and future road map for Skill Development in Civil Aviation Sector’ till February 26.

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