The government of India has given an ‘in-principle’ approval on March 21 for the construction of 18 airports for a substantial amount to enable industrial advancement.
The government decided to go ahead with their plan of incepting 18 Greenfield airports, estimated to cost a whopping INR 300 billion. A Greenfield airport is one which is built from the grassroots level on a new, undeveloped site. India’s first Greenfield airport, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, was set up in Hyderabad under the public-private partnership initiative. The Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport, operational in Durgapur, West Bengal, is the country’s first private Greenfield airport. The Civil Aviation Ministry previously gave their nod to four Greenfield airports, one in Gujarat and three in Andhra Pradesh on December 28, 2015.
In a talk with the developers, it was estimated that an amount close to INR 300 billion needs to be invested to yield the targeted projection. Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha commented in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, “For construction of new Greenfield airports, execution of project including finalisation of project cost and financing arrangement is the sole responsibility of the respective airport promoters.”
The 18 airports that were given the clearance for construction are Mopa (Goa), Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg (Maharashtra), Bijapur (Karnataka), Gulbarga (Karnataka), Hasan and Shimoga (Karnataka), Kannur (Kerala), Pakyong (Sikkim), Karaikal (Puducherry), Dholera (Gujarat) and Bhogapuram (Andhra Pradesh). However, Greenfield airport projects at places like Dholera (Gujarat) and Bhogapuram (Andhra Pradesh) were given the nod in the decision taken by the government dated December 28, 2015.
The management has given ‘site clearance’ for five other Greenfield airports. These include Muchiwara, Ludhiana Airport in Punjab, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Alwar in Rajasthan and Kothagudem in Telangana.
The estimated framework for construction of the airports will depend on factors varying on an individualistic operational level. How fast the projects commence is what remains to be seen.