AAI showcases 29 airports at World Route Forum in US

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is showcasing 29 metro and non-metro airports for domestic and global airlines to start operations from as part of the government's efforts to enhance air connectivity among different parts of the country.

AAI participated in the 20th World Route Development Forum held at Chicago from 20 to 23 September this year to market these airports amongst the airlines present at the forum.

AAI has identified 29 airports for marketing, which included Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Leh, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Surat, Trichy, Trivandrum, Varanasi (Banaras) and Visakhapatnam.

AAI also conducted one-to-one meetings with the participating airlines and had a dedicated exhibition stand also. The airport-specific brochures brought out by AAI on the occasion included salient features of the airports, catchment areas they belong to, aerodrome reference code, tourist attractions and aviation and tourism potential.

AAI maintains 125 airports in the country, including 21 international airports (3 civil enclaves and 3 joint venture), 78 domestic airports, 7 customs airports (4 civil enclaves) and 19 other civil enclaves. In addition, AAI also provides air navigation services (ANS) at all civil airports in the country.

Currently, Indian airports handle about 122 million domestic and 47 million international passengers and are poised to handle 217 million domestic and 76 million international passengers by 2020.

Enhanced air connectivity through no-frill airports will not only give a boost to the Indian civil aviation sector by facilitating availability of infrastructure but will also boost economic growth.

AAI will have to play a key role in implementation and execution of no-frill airports in the country. As per the estimates, about 50 such airports are on the anvil. The five airports included in Phase-I are Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Jharsuguda (Odisha), Hubli and Belgaum (Karnataka) and Kishangarh (Rajasthan).

In a parallel development, AAI today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for the development of aviation security equipment testing and evaluation programme, which would enable AAI and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to create clear standards, specifications and testing procedures specific to India's own standards of aviation security.

These procedures will be also in alignment with international practices for three types of aviation security equipment, which are meant to scan carry-on luggage, checked baggage and passengers.