Sunday, February 18, 2007

New airports: Ministry for priority to players with land

New Delhi: With the Government facing all round flak over land acquisition issues, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is keen to ensure that a private person who has access to land gets priority while setting up an airport. At present, State governments decide on the site of the airport and acquire land for the project to come up.
The Ministry is keen that if an individual wants to build a private airport, this should be allowed as long as it does not interfere with air traffic control movements in the area. At such private airports, however, security and air traffic control activities would remain with the State.
In this context, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel, has called on the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, to review the airport policy.
"There is a need to see how we can have airports without the Government stepping in. At the same time, we must ensure that land related problems faced while developing Special Economic Zones do not come up at such airport projects. There is no reason why the Indian landscape cannot be dotted with airports as we see in the US," Mr Patel said.
He was speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new integrated terminal and runway at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Saturday.
17/02/07 The Hindu Business Line
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