The Telegraph
Saturday , August 31 , 2013
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Airport boost for small cities

New Delhi, Aug. 30: Around 100 low-cost airports will be set up in smaller cities within the next two years.

K.N. Srivastava, secretary in the ministry of civil aviation, said at an Assocham conference here today that the government would set up 50 such airports this year and another 50 next year to improve air connectivity in the interiors.

Srivastava said the state-owned Airport Authority of India (AAI) would set up the low-cost airports in 50 cities across Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

“The civil aviation ministry has called a meeting of ministers and secretaries of states to finalise the policy of regional connectivity. The meeting is scheduled for September 10 in New Delhi,” Srivastava said.

“Navi Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Patna airports are facing capacity constraints. Chennai does not suffer from any capacity constraint right now but seven years down the line the situation might be different and that is why the government is considering setting up one in Sriperumbudur.”

According to the civil aviation ministry, airlines are expected to add around 370 planes worth $27.5 billion to their fleet by 2017.

Moreover, it is estimated that the commercial fleet size shall reach 1,000 from 400 now by 2020.