Saturday, August 28, 2021

Scindia requests 4 states, Puducherry to expedite matters related to aviation infrastructure

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has requested the chief ministers of Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to expedite matters related to aviation infrastructure such as land allocation for airports.

Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has embarked upon development and expansion of airports in the country at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore in the next four to five years in order to meet the growing passenger demand in the country, the Civil Aviation Ministry said.

In a letter to Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy, Scindia said the AAI needs 161.5 acres land -- 104 acres from the Tamil Nadu government and 57.5 acres from the Rangasamy''s government -- to extend the runway at Puducherry airport and make it suitable for operation of ATR72 and Q400 aircraft.

However, the land is yet to be handed over to the AAI by the two governments, he added.

Scindia wrote a separate letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, requesting him to hand over 88 acres of and that is needed by the AAI for infrastructure works at the Chennai airport.

Moreover, he told Stalin that 642.18 acres of land is required at the Trichy airport by the AAI for runway extension, basic strip, apron, terminal building and associated infrastructure.

"However, only 40.93 acres has been handed over to AAI. Remaining 642.18 acres is yet to be handed over (at the Trichy airport)," he added.

Scindia said the Tamil Nadu government may give their consent to provide 100 per cent VGF support for international UDAN operations on Coimbatore-Colombo, Coimbatore-Dubai, Coimbatore-Singapore, Coimbatore-Kuala Lumpur, Madurai-Dubai, Madurai-Colombo and Madurai-Singapore routes.

"On receipt of the consent of the state government for 100 per cent VGF support, routes will be put up for bidding by the airlines," he mentioned.

In his letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Scindia said 145 acres of land is needed at the Udaipur airport, 58.55 acres at the Bikaner airport, 55.9 acres at the Jodhpur airport, 51 acres at the Uttarlai airport for infrastructure works that have been planned.

He said an amount of Rs 94 lakh is outstanding on part of the Rajasthan government as viability gap funding (VGF) share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

28/08/21 PTI/Outlook

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