The government envisages investments to the tune of $30 billion in the country's airport infrastructure over the next 10 years as more and more airports open up for modernisation and new airports are developed.
The government has already invested $10 billion in developing airport infrastructure during the 10th and 11th five-year plans, civil aviation secretary S N A Zaidi said, adding that the airports developed under the public-private partnership model currently handle 60 per cent of the passenger traffic in the country.
''The government plans to invest $30 billion in the next 10 years,'' Zaidi said while addressing the 3rd International Aviation Economics Conference in New Delhi.
The number of operational airports in the country stood at 82 in 2010 against 50 in 2000. Passenger handling capacity at airports also increased from 66 million to 235 million during the period. The volume of air cargo has gone up to 4.5 million tonnes in 2010, from 3 million tonnes in 2002 - a remarkable growth in the face of the downturn in global economy in 2008-09.
Zaidi said, in the first phase, connectivity to metro cities are being established while in the second phase, the focus would be on connecting metros to tier II and tier III cities.
The number of passengers is likely to go up to 260 million and cargo by five million tonnes by 2020. This necessitates development of more airports and improvements in airports infrastructure in the country, Zaidi said.