Catering to increasing demand in Indian aviation

Government to build 100 airports in 15 years

Aviation

November 7, 2017

/ By / New Delhi



aviation

In order to improve connectivity, the civil aviation ministry has plans to build airports in town and cities that don’t have the facility as of now and revamp the existing ones.

By setting about 100 airports in 15 years, India plans to expand air connectivity and meeting potential demand, minister of civil aviation Jayant Sinha has said.

At an investment of INR 400,000 million, the plan is expected to double the current number of operational airports in the country. Of the new facilities, 70 would be at locations that do not have an airport. The rest will be second airports or the expanded existing airfields handling commercial flights.

“Airport planning in the past was such that an airport is saturated by the time its development work is completed,” Sinha told the Indian press. “We need to get out of that incremental trap and think for the future and take a long-term view. We will need to add about 100 new airports, as aviation in India grows.”

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in terms of domestic passenger growth, and currently, has about 100 operational airports catering to the demand. To serve the increasing numbers, airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet will be adding about 100 smaller planes to their fleet, Sinha said. The government’s regional connectivity scheme that offers subsidised fares to unserved and underserved airports has also given the sector a boost, but the plan will be largely driven by the private sector, he added.

The 100 airports are planned to be constructed in cities and towns that hold potential, such as Kharagpur, but have no airport, a senior ministry official said. “The plan is to add many such cities to the aviation map,” he added.

The government is looking at various models to work with states and expedite land acquisition, which has stalled infrastructure projects, the civil aviation minister said.

“Land acquisition is a state subject and we could try innovative models to expedite the process,” Sinha was quoted by the Indian media. “Methods like land pooling or finding a way to make landowners shareholders in the airport project or JVs with states to expedite (projects) are a few of them.” An airport would need 400 to 5,000 acres, depending on the size of the facility and the scope of the plan.

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