The aviation sector is all set for a massive boost! In the coming years, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is planning to set up 21 new airports across India. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken up new airports’ development as well as the expansion/upgradation of several existing airports at an estimated cost of Rs 25,000 crores in the next four to five years. This includes expansion as well as modification of existing terminals, setting up new terminals, expansion or strengthening of existing runways, technical blocks, aprons, Airport Navigation Services control towers, etc. Additionally, three PPP (Public-Private Partnership) airports at Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad have undertaken expansion plans to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore by the year 2025, Minister of State in the Civil Aviation Ministry, V. K. Singh said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha recently.
A Greenfield Airport Policy, 2008 was formulated by the government, which provides rules or guidelines for setting up new Greenfield Airports in India. As per this policy, an Airport Developer (including the State Governments), willing to set up an airport in the country, is required to send a proposal to the Civil Aviation Ministry. For the proposal approval, there is a two-stage process i.e. ‘Site-Clearance’ and ‘In-Principle’ approval stages.
In accordance with this, the ministry receives proposals for the establishment of airports from Airport developers or State Governments from time to time. So far, the ministry has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for the establishment of 21 Greenfield Airports namely Mopain Goa, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Navi Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra; Kalaburagi, Hassan, Bijapur and Shimoga in Karnataka; Datia (Gwalior) in the state of Madhya Pradesh; Noida (Jewar) and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh; Hirasar and Dholera in Gujarat; Karaikal in Puducherry; Bhogapuramand, Dagadarthi, Oravakal in the state of Andhra Pradesh; Pakyong in Sikkim; Kannur in Kerala; Durgapur in West Bengal; and Hollongi (Itanagar) in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Out of these airports, eight of them namely Pakyong, Kannur, Durgapur, Sindhudurg, Shirdi, Oravakal, Kalaburagi, and Kushinagar have already been operationalized.