Centre developing 25-year masterplan for airports, says Jayant Sinha

By: | Published: November 2, 2017 6:03 PM

The government is developing a comprehensive 25-year masterplan for airports in the country to keep pace with air traffic growth, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said today.

25-year masterplan, airports, Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Air traffic growthThe government is developing a comprehensive 25-year masterplan for airports in the country to keep pace with air traffic growth, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said today.(Image: IE)

The government is developing a comprehensive 25-year masterplan for airports in the country to keep pace with air traffic growth, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said today. T he infrastructure at some of the top airports in the country is crippling while there has been a consistent double digit growth in domestic air traffic for the past three years.  According to a recent study, the structural capacity of airports in the country is likely to be breached in the next five years.  “We are developing a comprehensive masterplan for our airports because traffic continues to grow strongly and will continue to do so. Even if we grow at 10 per cent we will see massive requirement as far as airport capacity is concerned,” Sinha told reporters at the 2nd Aero Expo India 2017.

He added that air traffic is expected to “double, if not quadruple” in the next 20-25 years and that is the “planning horizon” the government is aiming at.  The masterplan will delve into the need for multiple airports in cities, revised and refined agreements with airport operators, providing attractive opportunities for operating brownfield airports, offering multiple brownfield airports as part of a package for bidding as well as scaling up the Airports Authority of India, Sinha said.  According to a study last month by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), the country’s airport system is expected to exceed its maximum structural capacity by FY 2022.  It noted that 10 aerodromes under the Airports Authority of India are already operating “beyond their design capacity”, while other aerodromes at Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata will reach their maximum capacity in the next one year to five years.

The CAPA estimated that India will need an investment of upto USD 45 billion to create an additional capacity of handling 500-600 million passengers at its airports by 2030.  As per International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 20-year passenger forecast, by 2036 India will be the third fastest growing market with an expected addition of 337 million new passengers from 141 passengers in 2016.  Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who was the chief guest at the aero expo, underlined the need to improve safety and security in the aviation sector.

“Most crucial aspects are safety and security and there can’t be any compromise on these two counts. The most stringent norms have to be adopted to ensure safe and secure air travel,” Naidu said while addressing the gathering. He added that while the number of accidents and accident rate globally have shown a decrease as per International Civil Aviation Organisation, “we should see to it that there are no accidents at all.”

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