Air transport is the fastest means of movement from one place to the other. It has reduced distances by minimising the travel time. It is very essential for a vast country like India, where distances are large and the terrain and climatic conditions are diverse. Air transport in India made a beginning in 1911 when airmail operation commenced over a little distance of 10 km between Allahabad and Naini. But its real development took place in post-Independent period. The Airport Authority of India is responsible for providing safe, efficient air traffic and aeronautical communication services in the Indian Air Space. The authority manages 125 airports. The air transport in India is managed by two corporations, Air India and Indian Airlines after nationalisation. Now many private companies have also started passenger services.
Air India provides International Air Services for both passengers and cargo traffic. It connects all the continents of the world through its services.
History of Indian Airlines
In 2010, domestic movement involved 520.21 lakh passengers and about 23 lakh metric tonnes of cargo. Pawan Hans is the helicopter service operating in hilly areas and is widely used by tourists in north-eastern sector. In addition, Pawan Hans Limited mainly provides helicopter services to petroleum sector and for tourism.
Today, Indian aviation industry is dominated by private airlines and these include low cost carriers, who have made air travel affordable.
• Registration of civil aircraft;
• Formulation of standards of airworthiness for civil aircraft registered in India and grant of certificates of airworthiness to such aircraft
• Licensing of pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and flight engineers, and conducting examinations and checks for that purpose;
• Licensing of air traffic controllers
• Certification of aerodromes and CNS/ATM facilities;
• Granting of Air Operator's Certificates to Indian carriers and regulation of air transport services operating to/from/within/over India by Indian and foreign operators, including clearance of scheduled and non-scheduled flights of such operators;
• Conducting investigation into accidents/incidents and taking accident prevention measures including formulation of implementation of Safety Aviation Management programmes.
• Carrying out amendments to the Aircraft Act, the Aircraft Rules and the Civil Aviation Requirements for complying with the amendments to ICAO Annexes, and initiating proposals for amendment to any other Act or for passing a new Act in order to give effect to an international Convention or amendment to an existing Convention;
• Coordination at national level for flexi-use of air space by civil and military air traffic agencies and interaction with ICAO for provision of more air routes for civil use through Indian air space;
• Keeping a check on aircraft noise and engine emissions in accordance with ICAO Annex 16 and collaborating with the environmental authorities in this matter, if required;
• Promoting indigenous design and manufacture of aircraft and aircraft components by acting as a catalytic agent;
• Approving training programmes of operators for carriage of dangerous goods, issuing authorizations for carriage of dangerous goods, etc.