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Coming up: Face-lift for 27 airports

By Ashok K Bhaumik
August 24, 2005 08:01 IST
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The year 2005 is poised to be a landmark for the country's civil aviation and airport infrastructure development with plans for airports in New Delhi, Mumbai and 25 non-metro airports.

Ten of the 25 non-metro airports have already been identified for development on a turn-key basis in the first phase, Dr C G Krishnadas Nair, president of the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries said.

While airports at Delhi and Mumbai were being upgraded at an investment of Rs 3500 crore (Rs 35 billion), another Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) was being invested for the improvement of infrastructure for non-metro airports, Nair added.

With 126 airports being managed by the Airports Authority of India, the traffic growth rate over the past two quarters was around 20 to 24 per cent.

Stating that the recent years had seen a dramatic rise in passengers and cargo traffic, Nair said that Indian airports had to be upgraded quickly if they are to be made capable to handle it.

Then there would be the need to handle security of passengers and cargo effectively. Speaking about cargo traffic growth in the country, Nair said that by 2017 Indian airports were expected to handle one million tonne cargo annually.

Nair said that the approval of two Greenfield international airport projects in Bangalore and Hyderabad would create a need for consultancy and implementation services in the areas of airport infrastructure and airport security.

Stating that the Centre was active in evolving a policy framework for the development of the aviation sector, Nair said that some of the most significant developments undertaken by it included de-regulation of the domestic airline market, inviting private participation in the development of airport infrastructure and modernisation of the air traffic system.

To identify the technologies involved for upgrading airport infrastructure and cater to the needs of airport security and airline operations, Nair said that Bangalore would host the first-ever international exhibition and seminar on 'Aerodrome India 2005' between December 7 to 9.

The three-day seminar, planned jointly by the SIATI, Airport Council International and PDA Trade Fairs, would bring together leading international experts to provide perspectives on the status of technologies and associated systems in airport infrastructure and security, airline operations and airspace management, Nair said.

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Ashok K Bhaumik
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