The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to invest around Rs 25000 crores in developmental projects over the next five years. This was informed by Minister of State in the Ministry Of Civil Aviation Gen. V K Singh (Retd) in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on November 29, 2021
The developmental projects will involve expansion and modification of existing terminals, construction of new terminals and expansion and strengthening of existing runways, air navigation services, control towers and technical blocks.
Three Public-Private Partnership (PPP) airports at Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have undertaken developmental projects worth Rs. 30,000 crores that are set to be completed by 2025.
The centre has accorded ‘in-principle approval for setting up of 21 greenfield airports across the country. Around Rs 36,000 Crores are planned to be invested for the development of new greenfield airports across the country under PPP mode.
Out of the total 21 greenfield airports, eight greenfield airports in Pakyong in Sikkim, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Durgapur in West Bengal, Kannur in Kerala, Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Orvakal in Andhra Pradesh and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh have been operationalised.
Upcoming greenfield airports in India
Bhogapuram Airport (expected to be completed by 2022) – Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Itanagar Airport ( in planning process) – in Holongi, Arunachal Pradesh
Rajkot Greenfield Airport (under construction) – Hirasar, Gujarat
Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)
•Under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will connect 22 airports in the first phase. The 22 airports include three in Assam, two each in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan and one in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
•The scheme plans to connect these underserved airports to key airports through cost-friendly flights. The flights are expected to cost around Rs 2,500 for per hour.
•The scheme envisages to provide subsidy to airlines to offer these fares.
•The scheme is also known as the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) Scheme. As of November 2021, 393 routes have commenced under the scheme connecting 62 unserved and underserved airports.
Salient features of the regional connectivity scheme
•The regional connectivity scheme will be applied on a route length between 200 to 800 km in remote, hilly, island and security sensitive regions.
•The scheme will envisage the creation of a Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) to fund it through a levy on certain flights.
•The states will be expected to contribute 20 percent to the fund.
•The allocations will be spread equitably across 5 regions -North, West, South, East and North East -to enable a balanced regional growth.