Thursday, March 02, 2017

With only 13 Of 125 Airports Making Profit, Here's What Government Is Planning

New Delhi: Airports may soon become the new go-to spots - malls, shopping centres and business hubs with state-of-the-art facilities - as part of a government plan to pull them out of red. Only 13 of the country's 125 airports have been making profits, despite the government's plans to boost under-utilized airports through Rs. 2,500 flights and other measures. The government expects that utilising the 55,000 hectares of land under airports across the country will help boost profit margins.

But generating revenue would involve the change of land use. Under the existing Airport Authority of India Act, land under airport can only have limited use - mostly for hotels and car parking. This means that the revenue of airports come mainly from airlines, most of which are struggling to make profits.

"We want to make use of land optimally and have commercial exploitation of the land to help raise resources for airport authority," Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju told NDTV.

The change was promised by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech last month. The Finance Minister had said the Act will be amended to ensure "effective monetisation of land assets". "The resources so raised will be utilised for airport upgradation," the finance minister had said.
01/03/17 Sunil Prabhu/NDTV

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