Role of Aviation Management in Modern Air Travel

  • Anmol Kumar
  • Published 29/01/2024
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In the dynamic world of modern air travel, the seamless operation of aviation systems relies heavily on the efficient management of various interconnected elements. Aviation management plays a pivotal role in modern air travel by ensuring the safe, reliable, and smooth operation of aerodromes. It encompasses the strategic and operational aspects of running an airline, involving tasks such as Airport Operations, Fleet Planning and Management, Airport Slots, Revenue Management, Security, Customer service, Cargo, Marketing, and Human Resource Management. Effective management ensures commitment to safety and compliance with international aviation regulations.

Aviation service operations and ground handling directly impact the passenger experience. From the moment passengers arrive at the airport until they reach their destination, these operations contribute to a seamless and enjoyable travel journey. Efficient check-in processes, smooth baggage handling, Customer/ Porter Service, and on-time departures enhance the overall passenger experience and satisfaction.

Airport Operations

Aviation management oversees the efficient functioning of airports, managing terminal operations, ground handling services, airport facilities, passenger flow management, baggage handling, air traffic control coordination, and airport infrastructure development. The aim is to provide a smooth and convenient experience for travellers while maintaining high levels of safety and security.

Air Traffic Management

Aviation management plays a crucial role in air traffic management to ensure the safe and efficient movement of aircraft on the ground as well as en route. Air Traffic Control (ATC) involves managing air traffic control systems, airspace utilisation, longitudinal or vertical aircraft separations, route planning, and coordination between pilots. Effective air traffic management minimises congestion, optimises flight paths, and reduces fuel consumption. ATC operations adhere  to a comprehensive set of rules and standards established by national and international aviation authorities, namely the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Director General of Civil Aviation.

Indian Aviation Outlook

Indian Aviation envisions increasing the number of operational airports to 220 by 2025. Foreign investment of up to 49% is allowed under the automatic route in scheduled air transport service, regional air transport service, and domestic scheduled passenger airlines, which shall directly impact the market. Due to robust policies, and growing private sector participation through the Public Private Partnership (PPP), the number of PPP airports is expected to increase from five in 2014 to 24 by 2024-25.

Passenger and Freight Trends

In FY24 (as of June 2023), airports in India reported the domestic passenger traffic of 76.73 million, a 19.1% YoY growth, and international passenger traffic of 16.24 million, a 35% YoY growth, over the same period last year. Moreover, the Government has set a target to operationalise 1,000 UDAN routes and to revive/develop 100 unserved and underserved airports/heliports/water aerodromes (including 68 aerodromes) by 2024.

As far as airlines are concerned, in terms of demand capacity and utilisation, the available seat kilometre in domestic flights increased to 158,349 million km in FY23. Correspondingly, (Revenue Passenger Kilometre) for Domestic Service rapidly grew to 132,092 million km in FY23. India has become the third largest domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024. Due to the dynamic aviation market, India is projected to have 480 million flyers by 2026, exceeding the combines numbers of Japan and Germany constituting to 225 million and 200 million, respectively.

Freight and Air Cargo Trends

Examining Freight/Air Cargo traffic between FY16 and FY23, freight traffic increased at a CAGR of 2.20% from 2.70 MMT to 3.15 MMT. During April-June, freight traffic (International + Domestic) stood at 795.49 thousand tonnes (0.79 MMT). Freight traffic in airports in India has the potential to reach 17 MMT by FY40. Growth in import and export in India will be the key driver for growth in freight traffic as 30% of total trade is undertaken via airways. Delhi Airport received approval from the Government of India on February 7, 2023, allowing DIAL to serve as a Cargo Transshipment hub between Bangladesh and other global destinations for export cargo. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Infrastructure Limited, on March 3, 2023, welcomed the first batch of transshipment cargo from Bangladesh, paving the way for a faster and cost-effective route for shipping export cargo internationally. In May 2023, Union Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia stated that there is a plan to invest Rs. 1 lakh crore (US$ 12 billion) in airports in the coming days which shall open many new opportunities and provide youth with good career growth.

The Future of Aviation Management

Unquestionably, aviation management plays a crucial role in contemporary air travel, serving as the compass that directs the complex dance of many components within the aviation sector. Aviation management is an engine, driving air travel into the future. It achieves this by adopting cutting-edge technologies, improving flight operations, assuring strict safety standards, and managing unanticipated obstacles. Aviation managers’ unrelenting dedication to safety, efficiency, and adaptation as the skies change will pave the way for the miracles of flight to become more than just a mode of transportation but also a monument to human creativity and teamwork. Aviation management is the keeper of the skies in this dynamic and constantly shifting environment, ensuring that flying through the clouds is Seamless, Smooth, Safe, and Exciting.

Happy Flying!!

The writer is Anmol Kumar, Assistant Professor, Energy and Transportation, School Of Business

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The writer is Anmol Kumar, Assistant Professor, Energy and Transportation, UPES School Of Business

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