Air transport is the most modern means of transport which is unmatched by its speed, time- saving and long-distance operation.
It is very important for a large country like India. Through it one can easily reach to remote and inaccessible areas like mountains, forests, deserts etc. It is very useful during the times of war and natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, famines, epidemics, hostility and collapse of law and order.
The beginning of the air transport was made in 1911 with a 10 km air mail service between Allahabad and Naini. The real progress was achieved in 1920 when some aerodromes were constructed and the Tata Sons Ltd. started operating internal air services (1922). Flying ...view middle of the document...
There are 22 major aerodromes at Agartala Ahmadabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Barapani, Bhubaneshwar, Bhuj, Delhi (Safadarjung), Guwahati, HydeVabad, Imphal, (Tuiihal), Jaipur, Khajuraho, Lucknow, Nagpur, Panagarh. Patna, Ranchi, Tiruchchirappalli, Udaipur and Varanasi. These are also equipped with modern air services and landing facilities.
The air services are provided by Civil Aviation and are managed by two public sector corporations. Air India Limited is the major international river of the country. It has bilateral air services Teements with 100 countries of the world and pirates air services to the USA, Europe, the Russian Confederation, the Middle East, East Asia, Far East and Africa. Air India owns a fleet of 37 aircraft consisting of 7 B-474-200, two B 747-300 (Combi), Six B 747-400, three A 300-B4 and eight A 310-300 aircrafts.
It also has joint-venture services with three foreign carriers and seven 'Block Space' and 'Code Share Arrangements' with other foreign airlines. During 2004-05 Air India carried 4.45 million passengers as against 2.91 million in 1996-97. Besides Air India, a number of foreign companies also operate in the country on international routes. Recently the Government has decided to disinvest Air India shares to make room for private and foreign companies.
Indian Airlines is the major domestic air carrier of the country. It also provides services to 14 countries, viz.. Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh. Thailand, Singapore, UAE, Oman, Myanmar, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. Its operations cover 77 destinations including 19 abroad. It owns a fleet of 67 aircrafts consisting of ten A-300 s, thirty A-320s, twelve B- 737 and three DO-228 aircrafts. All Boieing 737 aircrafts are operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary Alliance Air.
Air cargo is an important aspect of air services. The total cargo handled at AAI airports was 12.80 lakh tons in 2004-05 which is roughly seven times than that of 1980^81 (1, 78,700 tons). Most of the important cargo consists of perishable goods (meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers etc.), readymade garments, leather goods, machinery, pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, professional and scientific equipments. Some mail to principal cities of the country is carried by air. Santa Cruz (Mumbai) airport tops in handling the air cargo, followed by Palam (Delhi) Meenambakkam (Chennai) and Dum Dum (Kolkata).
In order to help the Indian exporters and make their exports more competitive, the Government had introduced in April 1990 an 'open sky policy' for cargo. Under this policy any foreign airlines or association of exporters can bring freighters to the country for upliftment of cargo. The Government has also permitted market forces to determine cargo tariff, with IATA rates as the floor rates.
India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. About 55 million tones of cargo is being moved annually...