India will invest around $12 billion over the next two years in airports, aircraft and recruitment to meet the booming demand for air travel. The country aims to increase the number of airports from the present 148 to 220 by 2025, for which private builders will contribute roughly $9 billion, with the balance coming from the government-run Airports Authority of India. It entails new terminal construction, greenfield projects, and refurbishment of existing buildings, including old military airfields from the colonial era, as per a Bloomberg report. “We need to put in place the civil aviation infrastructure and capabilities that by 2047 would be able to support a $20 trillion economy within India,” said the country’s civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia at the ongoing CAPA India Aviation Summit in New Delhi. Scindia said passenger capacity at India’s six major airports is expected to grow to 420 million in four years from 192 million today, and Indian carriers’ fleet will grow to 2,000 aircraft in five years from 700. Additionally, India has eased leasing rules for airlines to lease more aircraft to address aircraft shortages as travel rebounds from the pandemic. He also highlighted how India had tweaked its airplane leasing program to enable airlines to add more aircraft to meet passenger demand, including more “wet leasing,” or renting of planes with crew, for domestic and international routes. Tata Group-owned Air India last month announced a record order for 470 jets and is due to take another 25 leased aircraft.