Asia

India's government approves new civil aviation policy

  • An aircraft of India’s private airline Indigo flies above shanties adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport as it prepares to land in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. India's government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade)

    An aircraft of India’s private airline Indigo flies above shanties adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport as it prepares to land in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. India's government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade)  (The Associated Press)

  • An aircraft of India’s private airline Spicejet flies above shanties adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport as it prepares to land in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. India's government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade)

    An aircraft of India’s private airline Spicejet flies above shanties adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport as it prepares to land in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. India's government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade)  (The Associated Press)

  • An aircraft of India’s private airline Jet Airways flies above shanties adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport as it prepares to land in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. India's government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade)

    An aircraft of India’s private airline Jet Airways flies above shanties adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport as it prepares to land in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. India's government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade)  (The Associated Press)

India's government has approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju says the policy will help India become the world's third-largest civil aviation market by 2022, behind the U.S. and China.

Raju said in a Twitter message posted after the Cabinet's approval Wednesday that it would be "a game-changer for the (aviation) sector."

India's booming economy and growing middle class have helped to make it the world's fastest-growing air travel market. The number of passengers grew 20 percent last year, and airlines are announcing flights to new destinations in the country almost every week.