Monday, January 01, 2018

UP govt to develop 10 small airports to boost religious, business tourism

Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has undertaken the development of a dozen new airports in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to boost regional connectivity and boost religious, cultural, and business tourism.

In the first phase, the state government would develop Agra and Kanpur airports after bidding under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) of the Union Civil Aviation Ministry. In the second phase, 10 airports – Allahabad, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Chitrakoot, Hindon (Ghaziabad), Jhansi, Moradabad, Muirpur (Sonbhadra), and Shravasti – would be taken up.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Centre, UP and Airport Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, on December 29, the government is mandated to provide concessions and sops to selected airline operators for operating flights at these smaller airports. The sops pertain to underwriting of unsold seats, tax rebate, free infrastructure facilities, and fuel subsidy, among others.

While Agra, Allahabad, Chitrakoot, and Shravasti are prominent cultural and religious tourism hubs in UP, the remaining centres would either boost air connectivity in remote areas, such as Jhansi and Azamgarh, or provide direct air connectivity to big industrial pockets, like Kanpur (leather), Aligarh (lock making units) or Moradabad (brassware).
Most of these places already have airstrips, which would be further upgraded and developed to operate scheduled and chartered air services.

Earlier, the Yogi government had urged the Centre to expedite the proposal to upgrade the Chitrakoot airstrip to promote Buddhist Circuit tourism in the region.

Under the proposed incentives, the state government would coordinate with oil marketing companies for provision of fuelling infrastructure at the RCS airports on best effort basis. The state would also provide land free from all encumbrances for development of RCS airports and provide multimodal hinterland connectivity (road, rail, metro, waterways, etc) as required.
31/12/17 Virendra Singh Rawat/Business Standard