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India to build 17 new airports
Publication Date : 09-08-2013
India is planning to build 17 new airports in 11 states, according to its on-going current five-year plan (2012-2017), Minister of State for Civil Aviation KC Venugopal informed the Rajya Sabha (India's Council of States) on Tuesday.
This expansion plan that will partly address the aviation sector's challenges in the areas of growth and improving air connectivity in rural states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
Karnataka state in south-west India will be the biggest beneficiary of the proposal: as many as four of these 17 airports are to come up in Gulbarga, Bijapur, Hassan and Shimoga cities in the state.
Goa will get a second airport in Mopa, and Kerala a fourth one in Aranmula. Airports for Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand will be built in Itanagar, Kishangarh and Deoghar.
Aviation consultants Capa said that with the expansion, India will acquire investments up to US$40 billion in 50 greenfield airports by 2025.
Passenger traffic will grow to 452 million by 2020-21, from 143 million in 2010-11, and scheduled airlines will expand fleet-wise to 1,030 aircrafts from 430, Capa said in a report.
At present, the government-controlled Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages a total of 125 airports, which include 11 international airports, eight customs airports, 81 domestic airports and 25 civil enclaves at Defence Airfields.
The airports at Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Calicut, Guwahati, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Lucknow and Chennai, which have been established as international airports, are also used by foreign international airlines.
Besides international flights, national flag carriers operate from Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Varanasi, and Gaya airports. Tourist charters now depart from Agra, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Lucknow and Patna airports, among others.
The AAI has since entered into joint ventures with the Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Nagpur airports in an effort to upgrade these airports into world class airports.