The Patna aviation sector in Bihar has grown roughly eight times in the last decade and has generated 252 crore in the 2021-22 financial year alone, according to the Bihar Economic Survey, which was recently released by the state’s finance department.
Officials of the state civil aviation department say that the area is set to grow further after the commencement of commercial flight operations from Purnia and the completion of some other airports to be developed in the next few years.
Recent trends in business in terms of air passengers and freight traffic from Patna airport suggest that the sector is slowly returning to pre-Covid era traffic. “The airspace business in Bihar has seen a jump of about 55% in 2021-22 as compared to its previous financial year. The total revenue from air traffic has increased 252 crore in the previous financial year as compared to Rs. 163 crore in Bihar in 2019-20,” says the report.
A senior official in the state aviation department said there has been an upward trend in passenger as well as freight traffic, though it may take another year to cross the pre-Covid era. “Till December last year, Patna airport saw 21,427 aircraft and 27.67 lakh passenger movements, while 2019-20 saw 35,145 flights and 45.24 lakh passengers,” he added. Around 12,000 tonnes of pre-Covid traffic by the end of this financial year.
“A strong civil aviation set-up is the key to seamless flow of investment, trade and tourism with significant multiplier effects. Among others, this industry depends on two major factors namely the business activities in that sector and the quality of the service provided. Airports Council International (ACI) World helps nearly 400 airports around the world manage and deliver the best services to their customers. ACI also publishes the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Index for all airports every year. Patna Airport is continuously improving its ASQ Index and its ranking has improved from 233 in 2020 to 71 in 2022.
Patna airport, which is one of the fast-growing airports under the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is expected to see a substantial increase in business once the new terminal building and freight wing are commissioned next year, officials said. will be completed in “The airport at Patna has served nearly two crore passengers during the last five financial years (2017-18 to 2021-22) and handled more than 45,000 tonnes of cargo during the same period. The passenger and freight business is slowly recovering along with the movement of aircraft since the Covid year.
Additional Chief Secretary S Siddhartha, who heads the Civil Aviation Department, was not available for comment.