The Centre expects cooperation from the state governments to slash the surcharge and taxation on aviation fuel to control its prices, a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said here today.
"The biggest challenge faced by the Aviation industry in the country is in the form of fuel prices. We had discussions with the state governments on this front," said Anil Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation in a conference here today.
He said the Union government has appealed to the state governments to slash the surcharge and taxation on the aviation fuel which is a state subject.
Some of the state governments have responded positively for our request to cut down on these charges," he said.
Srivastava was addressing Aviation ICT Forum 2013, an annual event organised by stakeholders in the aviation industry.
He said currency fluctuation is also one of the factors contributing to the fuel price hike in the country.
Srivastava said the government is foreseeing the possibility of constructing airports even in smaller cities and revolutionising the entire aviation scenario.
"We are looking to construct 50-100 airports in the small towns in near future which will connect them to the larger cities in the minimum time," he said, equating the proposals for airport constructions to the spread of mobile (telephone) network. "The way mobile technology has gone to the smallest town of the country, similarly there should be airport network," he added.
Srivastava said the Union government has undertaken the six airport projects under public private participation and in future other airports may also go the same way.
He said the projections are that India will become third in the world in terms of volume of air passengers, but that these figures need to be taken with caution as such a volume can be generated only after having proper airport infrastructure.