New Delhi: The government will notify its New Civil Aviation Policy by Q1 of 2008 to facilitate creation of 500 mega and six regional airports. It will help develop a mechanism for an aviation grid to set up multi-model merchant airports besides operationalizing 100 airports, up from the present 50.
Praful Patel, minister for Civil Aviation, while speaking at a conference organized by Assocham on Rs.Aerotropolis : Airport Cities’ announced that the new policy would have provisions for making 10 aerotropolis in 10 major metros. They would be establishing air linkages for air passengers for a minimum 50 kilometre distance.
An inter-governmental group will be created for finalizing the policy. But before that recommendations would be forwarded to the Committee on Infrastructure headed by the Prime Minister and after its endorsement, a cabinet note would be moved.
The Minister confirmed that the new policy would be in place by Q1 of 2008 and would grow akin to the telecom sector, which has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade.
He pointed out that the country’s aviation industry had been growing at a speed which is faster than China’s and was likely to become far more vibrant as it invited players from countries in Europe, America and ASEAN region.
Recommendations in the New Policy
* Create room for executing six regional airports by 2008 and over 500 mega airports in next couple of years
* Number of operational airports across the country currently numbers 50 and will go up to 80 by end 2008 and cross 100 thereafter
* State governments to expand their air strips through joint venture arrangements and make them merchant airports; central government to be responsive to their proposals. States that have shown keeness to do so include Karnataka, Maharasthra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh
* Smaller cities to have more airports; aerotropolis and merchant airports so that job opportunities are decentralized
* Policy to have stipulations for setting up an aviation grid on lines of national grid for power transmission
Videocon group announced its foray into the civil aviation sector, with plans of building airports as per provisions of the proposed new civil aviation policy. Venugopal Dhoot, managing director, Videocon said that he would put up airports big or small with one of his French joint venture partner. The foreign company would hold 24% equity stake.