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Rediff.com  » Business » South airport projects to take off soon: Rudy

South airport projects to take off soon: Rudy

September 03, 2003 10:54 IST

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Tuesday said the issues related to the new international airports proposed to be developed at Hyderabad and Bangalore with private partnership will be sorted out soon and the government is committed for early completion of the projects.

Rudy, who was here today to address the aviation industry employees, met chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to discuss the issues related to Hyderabad international airport and the state government's request to allow more and more international carriers to operate from the city.

The minister handed over a 15-year lease agreement letter to the chief minister, which will allow Andhra Pradesh State Trading Corporation to operate an air cargo complex at the airport.

Later, speaking to media persons, the minister said once the runway expansion work at the existing airport in Hyderabad with an investment of Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) is completed by March next, 330 and 777 series aircraft can be landed comfortably.

The minister also said an agreement has been signed between Lufthansa and Air India to operate three flights of Lufthansa and four flights of Air India a week from both Hyderabad and Bangalore to international destinations.

Responding to a query on Chandrababu Naidu's demand for an open sky policy, the Union minister said that "As such, we can't have it. We can't allow all airlines to land everywhere. The chief minister is right in his own way for allowing more traffic. But we have constraints and have to take so many aspects into consideration. There are commercial interests involved and we can allow more flights only on case-to-case basis."

The minister said the Naresh Chandra Committee appointed by the ministry to look at all the issues will submit its report by October and a comprehensive civil aviation policy would be announced by February next year.

"The country does not have a civil aviation policy for all these years. Now, we are talking about affordability and accessibility of civil aviation to see that user demand is created," the minister observed.

Earlier, addressing the employees of the aviation industry as part of his nation-wide motivational exercise, the minister strongly advocated the need to build a good communication network among various segments of the aviation industry for better passenger service.

"When people are demanding world class service, protectionism will not work. If the government had made investment in you, it is not to protect you. You are expected to perform well," the minister told the industry personnel.

"The whole system is meant for passengers. However, every one in the system forgets the passengers. They deserve to be treated well at the airport, because they are paying for it," Rudy asserted.

BS Regional Bureau in Hyderabad