Bringing out of the cold storage several airport projects in Uttar Pradesh in view of the assembly polls early next year, the NDA government has put them on the fast track with two of them – Allahabad and Agra – likely to be operational in a couple of months.
All these airport project were initiated during the erstwhile UPA regime.
At a review meeting held here to assess the progress on the development of seven regional airports in the state and implementation of the proposed regional connectivity scheme (RCS), the Civil Aviation Ministry has adviced the UP Government to complete the obstacle survey for the Jewar airport in Gautam Budha Nagar at the earliest.
National airports operator AAI had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UP government in February 2014 for the development of no-frill airports /civil enclaves at Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Kanpur, Faizabad, Meerut and Moradabad.
Agra and Allahabad will start operations immediately under the regional air connectivity scheme, while flights from the two other regional airports Bareilly and Kanpur will commence from later this year, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma, who took the review meeting along with senior Ministry and AAI officials as well as senior officials from UP Government, told reporters here.
The Ministry had on July 1 rolled out the draft regional connectivity scheme which seeks to boost flying with measures such capping of fares fare for a one-hour flight of approximately 500 km on a fixed-wing aircraft or on a 30-minute helicopter ride at Rs 2,500, providing Viability Gap Funding (VGF) – which would be financed through Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF), among other.
According to Sharma, the airports at Moradabad, Meerut and Faizabad are also expected to be operational with Uttar Pradesh agreeing to invest Rs 100 crore each on their development.
The Master Plan for these seven projects have already been prepared by the AAI and the state government has started the land acquisition proceedings.
The land will be available for Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly and Kanpur airports by October, later an official release said.
The State Government has requested that the land requirement for Meerut, Faizabad and Moradabad should be reworked, the release said adding it was also decided to revise the complete Master Plan within one month’s time to enable UP government start land acquisition proceedings.
According to Government, there are 394 unserved and 16 under-served airports in the country.
UP alone has 27 such airports/airstrips out of the total 394.