Wings India 2024 sees 7 major announcements, from training centres to aeroplane deals

The Bengaluru and Delhi Airports were jointly adjudged the best airports of the year at the Wings India Awards.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jan 19, 2024 | 7:18 AMUpdatedJan 19, 2024 | 10:07 AM

Wings India 2024 sees 7 major announcements, from training centres to aeroplane deals

The 2024 edition of Wings India — billed as the largest event in the civil aviation sector in Asia — began at the Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad on Thursday, 18 January. And Day One saw seven major announcements and developments.

This year’s theme for the four-day event is “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation”.

Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel Jyotiraditya M Scindia addressed the inaugural session of the global aviation summit.

Also read: Tharoor, Scindia spar over flight delays and airport chaos

The announcements

The first of the seven major announcements and developments on the first day of Wings India 2024 was the release of the joint knowledge paper on civil aviation by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and KPMG.

The others included the launch of the UDAN 5.3 scheme, the launch of the Airbus-Air India Training Centre, with the purchase of more aeroplanes and the setting up of a flight training centre in Gurugram with 10 flight simulators where 10,000 pilots would be trained in the coming years.

There were also the Airbus manufacturing contracts with TATA ASL and Mahindra Aerospace Structures Pvt Ltd to train more pilots.

Meanwhile, GMR and IndiGo signed a deal to develop sustainable aerospace training.

There was also the inauguration of the GMR School of Aviation, and a deal announcement by Akasa Air with a triple order of 200 aircraft in 17 months.

Also read: GMR School of Aviation to go live in July 2024

Praise for Telangana

Jyotiraditya Scindia told reporters at the event on Thursday: “Telangana topped the World Bank’s list for ease of doing business. The capital city — Hyderabad — is consistently ranked the Most Liveable City in India by Mercer.”

He added that aviation and aerospace were a thrust sector for the state government. He noted that Telangana won the award for the state with the most progressive outlook on the sector in the 2018, 2020, and 2022 editions of Wings.

“You may recall that Telangana was among the first states to slash the VAT on ATF (aviation turbine fuel) from 16 percent to 1 percent, setting an example for other states. The primary airport, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, is consistently awarded best in its class.”

Meanwhile, the state government was said to be aggressively working on greenfield airports and the revival of brownfield airports. This was reportedly in line with the theme of Wings India 2024.

The greenfield airports are in Bhadradri Kothagudem, Jakranpally in the Nizamabad district, and Gudibanda in the Mahabubnagar district.

The brownfield airports are in the Mamnoor village in the Warangal Urban district, Basanthnagar in the Peddapally district, and one in the Adilabad district.

In the first phase, works have already been initiated for the Mamnoor and Adilabad airports.

The Telangana government has proposed a water aerodrome at the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and a pre-feasibility report has been completed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The government is also evaluating other water bodies for creating water aerodromes.

Meanwhile, the Telangana State Aviation Corporation Limited and Tourism Department are said to be conducting joyrides at various places in the state.

It is apparently gearing up to conduct joyrides in the Mulugu district for Medaram Jathara — Asia’s biggest tribal festive.

Also read: Will heli-tourism initiative take Kerala to new heights?

Awards and accolades

Later in the day, Scindia gave out the Wings India Awards 2024 at a function held in a hotel in Hyderabad.

The Bengaluru and Delhi Airports were adjudged the best airports of the year. The award was given jointly to both airports.

Vistara-Tata SIA Airlines Ltd bagged the Best Airline of the Year award. Air India was recognised for international connectivity, while Alliance Air was noted for regional connectivity. Air India Express was declared a sustainability champion.

The GMR Group, which handles several airports across the country, was honoured as the Best Aviation Service Provider.

Skyways Air Services Pvt Ltd was recognised for cargo services, Indian Oil Skytanking Pvt Ltd for fuel services, and GMR for its aero academy.

Several other organisations were recognised by Wings India for their excellence in various fields.