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Govt to focus on low-cost airports: Ajit Singh

February 06, 2013 18:14 IST

Government would now focus on developing low cost airports to provide air connectivity to remote and interior areas of the country and encourage growth of regional airlines, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inauguration of Aero India 2013, Asia's biggest air show that took off here, Singh spoke about significant growth in India in terms of passenger traffic and augmenting of airport infrastructure and said the Government has approved 15 more airports.

During the last 10 years, he said the compounded annual growth rate of passenger traffic in India has remained approximately 15 per cent.

Domestic traffic in the next 10 years in India is expected to touch about 180 million passengers per annum and international traffic is likely to exceed 80 million, from the current 60 million and 40

million respectively, he said.

Noting that Airports Authority of India (AAI) has built modern and state-of-the-art new terminal buildings in Kolkata and Chennai, Singh said, "The government has approved 15 more airports under the greenfield policy, with majority of them being under PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) mode.”

He also said the passenger handling capacity in Indian airports has more than trebled in the past five years, from 72 million to 233 million.

The AAI is upgrading and modernising 35 non-Metro airports in the country, Singh said.

"Our next focus is on providing air connectivity to remote and interior areas of the country by developing low cost airports and encourage the growth of regional airlines", he added.

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