Govt is working on 4-pronged strategy to boost airports’ capacity: Jayant Sinha

Govt is working on 4-pronged strategy to boost airports’ capacity: Jayant Sinha

Sinha said UDAN second edition will help the sector to sustain the growth rate of 15-20%.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The Government is working on a four-pronged strategy in order to boost the capacity of airports all over India, said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Wednesday.

“We have been spending a lot of time thinking and planning about what we should do about airport capacity, we are working on four different aspects,” Sinha said while inaugurating a civil aviation conference organised by ASSOCHAM in New Delhi.

The Minister further said that his ministry is working simultaneously on boosting the capacity at key airport hubs of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai and is also working to develop new brown-field and green-field airports as well as smaller airports in tier III and IV cities.

“We are significantly adding green-field capacity, we are examining brown-field PPP (public private partnership) models for mid-sized airports and we are also looking at very cost effective ways of commissioning and operating smaller tier III and IV heliports,” he said.

Sinha said that UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme’s second edition will help the civil aviation sector in the country to sustain the present growth rate of 15-20% along with several supportive policy measures.

“Just like the way we have opened up the tier III and IV airports during UDAN first round, our expectation is that we will open up all helipads, smaller air-strips in the hilly areas of states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and in north-east,” he added.

The Minister further stated that the government is expecting huge support from non-scheduled air operators (NSOPs), helicopter operators, and others to make the second round of UDAN successful to open up more remote locations for air connectivity.

“We think that just like the fixed-wing order book has started to bulge, our expectation is that we will see a tremendous upsurge in demand for helicopter flying in India and that we think will enable us to take the number of operational commercially available helicopters in India, which is just 200 to a higher magnitude,” he said.

While terming the UDAN’s first round as a game-changer, Sinha said, “Under this scheme, 31 new airports have been added to the aviation network, as compared to only 70 airports added post-independence.

He informed that bulk of these airports will be up and running by September 30, while adding, “The few will be remaining because we are still trying to work out some of the logistics and some of the permissions necessary to activate these airports.

Seeing the demand and support of policy measures, airlines in the country have placed huge orders for aircrafts, he informed.

“India has the largest order book of any country in the world right now as 850 planes have been ordered,” he said.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 30, 2017 12:00 IST