New Delhi: Industry body Assocham has asked the government to grant infrastructure status to the aviation industry which will help attract investment into the sector.

It also urged the government to create an airport infrastructure development fund and essential airlines services fund.

"The government should grant infrastructure status to the aviation industry and rationalise taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) which will attract huge investments in the sector," Assocham said.

Besides, there is a need for creation of an airport infrastructure development fund and essential airlines services fund, the chamber added.

At present, India is ranked 9th largest civil aviation market in the world and passenger traffic has grown from 46 million in 2001-2002 to 162 million in 2011-2012. Cargo has increased from 0.92 million tons to 2.28 million tons during the period under review, Assocham said.

It said the number of international flights has also increased rapidly in the last few years and the private sector has had a major share in this growth.

The expectation is that in the next five years, India would need at least another 1,000 airlines and over 35 non-metro airports need to be modernised, it added.

(Agencies)

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