Terming the creation of infrastructure a big challenge, Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said India will need at least 1,000 planes in the next few years as it prepares a comprehensive and integrated plan for 2035 to boost the sector.
"To create infrastructure for aviation is a big challenge and we, therefore, are preparing a comprehensive and integrated plan for 2035... Aviation is one of the sectors that can play a leadership role in the world," Prabhu said at an event in Kolkata.
Delivering the Suresh Neotia Memorial Lecture on 'Future of World Trade in Rising Clamour for Protectionism', Prabhu said the government was also preparing a cargo policy that has a tremendous growth potential.
"Separately, we are preparing a cargo policy as it has a huge potential to grow with the growing need to transport cargo from one place to another. Cargo flights can move at night with the policy coming in," he said.
The minister stated that the country's aviation sector would log the highest continuous growth in the next few years, with technology and land being the key factors.
"We need to create infrastructure on the ground to make flying successful. Procuring land for infrastructure projects is a challenge in India and land is going to be the driving force for many development projects in India.
"Technology is going to play a big and key role," he added.
He said India was also preparing a plan for manufacturing planes in the country.
"We need at least 1,000 planes in the next few years and don't want to import them. We are separately preparing a plan for manufacturing these planes in India," he said. Another plan was afoot for making drones. "Drones will now play an important role and drones itself is a trillion dollar market. For which we are preparing a plan."
Pointing out that a million jobs would be created in the aviation sector, the Minister said: "We need skilled manpower and we are working on a skilled development programme."