2 min read.Updated: 07 Dec 2021, 08:52 AM ISTLivemint
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken up a development programme to spend around ₹25,000 crores in the next five years as a measure to revive aviation sector
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The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken up a development programme to spend around ₹25,000 crores in the next five years as a measure to revive aviation sector in the country which has been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, ₹25,000 crore amount will be used for the expansion and modification of existing terminals, new terminals, expansion or strengthening of existing runways, aprons, Airport Navigation Services (ANS), control towers, technical blocks etc. Further, as revival measures, three Public-Private Partnership (PPP) airports at Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have also undertaken major expansion plans to the tune of ₹30,000 crores by 2025. Additionally, ₹36,000 crores have been planned for investment in the development of new Greenfield airports across the country under PPP mode, the ministry said.
The ministry said that the Centre has accorded 'in-principle' approval for setting up of 21 Greenfield Airports across the country.
"So far, eight Greenfield airports namely, Shirdi in Maharashtra, Durgapur in West Bengal, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala, Orvakal in Andhra Pradesh, Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh have been operationalised," Minister of State in the Ministry Of Civil Aviation Gen Dr VK Singh said at the Parliament.
Besides, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate has been reduced from 18% to 5% for domestic Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.
"A conducive aircraft leasing and financing environment has been enabled," the ministry said. Further, the ministry informed that the number of freighter aircraft deployed by Indian carriers has increased from 7 in 2018 to 28 in 2021.
"As a result, the share of Indian carriers in international freighter movements to and from India increased from 2% to 19% over the last two years," it said.
Under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) Scheme, as on November 24, 2021, 393 routes have commenced connecting 62 unserved and underserved airports, including 2 water aerodromes and 6 heliports, the ministry informed.
Centre has released over ₹2,062 crores for revival of unserved and underserved airports/heliports/waterdrome of State Government, PSUs and AAI etc from April 2017 to October 2021.
Ministry of Civil Aviation has also introduced a new mode of transportation i.e. seaplane operations from water aerodromes under UDAN-3. Till date a total of 14 water aerodromes have been identified in the states of Gujarat, Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
As per the ministry's press release, the aviation sector in India incurred an estimated loss of approximately Rs19,564 crore and ₹5,116 crore respectively in the financial year 2020-21
"Due to the outbreak of COVID 19, scheduled domestic operations were suspended with effect from March 25, 2020, which were subsequently resumed in a calibrated manner w.e.f. May 25, 2020 with 33 per cent of the capacity and fare capping (lower and upper limit on different sector) to ensure that airlines do not charge excessive fare," read the release.
"Evaluating the emerging scenario of the Covid-19 pandemic, the capacity restrictions have been relaxed with effect from October 18, 2021, and the domestic operations have been restored without any restrictions of the capacity," it read.
(With PTI inputs)
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