New Delhi: Airport Authority of India (AAI) in collaboration with private airport developers will jointly pool in Rs 36,000 crore to develop 12 greenfield and 50 smaller airports within the next five years in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and the northeast.
Speaking at a seminar on Aviation industry issues organized by Assocham and Earnst and Young, K.N. Srivastava, joint secretary incharge of airport development in the Civil Aviation Ministry said that smaller airports will spring up in India, enhancing small town connectivity since in prime metros land prices are rising and space for putting up greenfield airports is in short supply.
Unfolding the airport authority’s development prorammes for greenfield and smaller airports, he confirmed that Rs 12,000 crore would be invested through internal accruals and other sources of AAI and the balance Rs 24,000 crore from private developers and corporates like the Tatas and Ambanis.
The money that would be raised would be used to set up about 12 greenfield airports in places like Shirdi and Solapur in Maharashtra, four in the northeast and one in Karnataka. Additionally, 50 smaller airports were being identified with 12 in North-East, 7-8 in Karnataka, 1 at Bhagalpur and few in Gujarat.
The Ministry is in conclusive talks with Airforce authorities to enable them use select Airforce stations for taking off civilian aircrafts at certain peak hours, starting with the Hindon Airforce base station in Ghaziabad.
Renovating existing airports is also part of the charter with 127 airports scheduled to go in for renovations and upgradation. Mr Srivastava explained that response for developing smaller airports across the country, particularly in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat had been so encouraging that large industrial houses such as Tata’s and Ambanis were willing to came forward to bid when Govt. of Karnataka offered to put up smaller airports with their expertise. This experience was repeated in other states, serving as an influencer, making the government focus more sharply on airport development in smaller cities.
Going a step ahead, a Committee has been constituted under Mr Anwar Hooda, Member, Planning Commission to suggest measures to establish rail linkages from airports in 10 cities so that passengers after getting off the aircraft can board a train and reach their destinations. Prominent among 10 cities in which railway linkages would be established include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.