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Friday, 22 December, 2017, 12 : 30 PM [IST]

Government gives “in-principle” approval for 19 greenfield airports

According to the Millennium Post report, given the rise in air passengers, the government has decided to establish 19 airports. According to Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India, the Centre has given “in-principle” approval for 19 greenfield airports, of which some would be developed through Public Private Partnership (PPP). In a reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the Minister said that the country’s civil aviation sector was growing leaps and bounds but the safety of air passengers will never be compromised. Greenfield airport is a new airport which is constructed on an undeveloped site and as per the government’s policy on airport infrastructures issued in December 1999, no greenfield airport would normally be allowed within a distance of 150 km from the nearest existing airport. Emphasising that air travel is growing every year, Raju said during Question Hour that the number of aircraft in the country was around 548 in comparison to about 395 in 2014. Since the government came to power in 2014, around 50 aircraft are being added every year, the Minister said.

Responding to a query whether the shortage of skill was affecting the aviation sector, Raju said there is a problem and mismatch of skill. The minister asserted that safety of passengers was “never compromised and will never be compromised”, adding that safety and security were paramount for the government. When a member expressed concern over air safety against the backdrop of incidents involving Pratt & Whitney engine-powered aircraft, Raju said, “passenger safety is never put at risk”. “Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Bhogapuram and Dagadarthi in Andhra Pradesh, Hasan in Karnataka, Kannur in Kerala and Dholera in Gujarat” would be through PPP model by the respective state governments with a total investment of around INR 27,000 crore, Raju said.The responsibility of implementing these projects rests with the state governments concerned, he noted.
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