Thursday, January 18, 2007

Privatise non-metro airports fully as well

New Delhi: There is an urgent need to modernise the non-metro airports to enhance overall connectivity in the country, and to take the aviation sector to the next level of growth. The civil aviation ministry has drawn up plans to modernise 35 non-metro airports. These airports are located at — Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Agartala, Agra, Agatti, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Dimapur, Guwahati, Goa, Imphal, Jammu, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Nagpur, Madurai, Mangalore, Patna, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Rajkot, Ranchi, Raipur, Udaipur, Lucknow, Vadodara, Indore, Vishakhapatnam, Trichi, Coimbatore, and Varanasi.
The modernisation plan consists of developing the ‘air-side’ and the city-side of these airports. The total cost for modernisation of these airports is expected to be around Rs 7,000 crore, out of which Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on city-side development. The development of the 35 non-metro airports across the country is likely to be completed by the year 2010-11. The government has already started development of air-side of 12 non-metro airports.
Civil aviation ministry has allowed private companies to participate in the modernisation of these crucial airports, however, this comes with a caveat. While the state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been mandated to modernise the air-side of these airports, which involves a major chunk of the total investment, private players are allowed only for the air-side.
18/01/07 Sunny Verma/Economic Times
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