Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today noted that the aviation sector has a potential to ''absorb'' $120 billion in investment, and said efforts are on to create world class aviation infrastructure across the country on a ''mission mode''.
The growth of low cost air travel has given strong competition to the railways by making new frequent flyers, he said while inaugurating the new international terminal building in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala capital.
"I am told the projected growth of India's aviation sector has a potential to absorb investment of over $120 billion, with attendant job creation for lakhs of workers directly and indirectly," he said.
He emphasised the importance of the aviation sector in the country's economy, which he said was getting integrated with the global economy, and added that the government has formulated various policies to give a boost to this ''vital'' sector.
Creation of modern and efficient infrastructure at airports to handle passenger volumes of this magnitude requires huge investment. This creates significant opportunities and challenges, he said.
A roadmap to modernise the existing airports on a mission mode to create world class infrastructure was being implemented at a fast pace as air transport in the country was witnessing unprecedented growth, the prime minister said.