Cargo airports may come up in vicinity of existing airports

New Delhi: With growth in the aviation sector showing no signs of abating, the Government may allow cargo airports to come up within a 150 km radius of an existing airport through the automatic route.

Current policy does not allow any airport to come up within a 150 km of an existing airport.

According to sources, the Government may consider allowing a Greenfield cargo airport project to come up that has all the requisite clearances from concerned authorities, but runs into this particular barrier.

A three-member committee, which includes the finance minister, P Chidambaram, the minister for civil aviation, Praful Patel and the deputy chairman, Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has already submitted its report on the guidelines for new airports.

While details of the report are yet to be made public, official sources said that proposals for automatic clearance of Greenfield cargo airport projects is likely to be cleared by the Union cabinet.

In case of approval by the Union cabinet a third category of airports would come into existence in the country, other than the existing civil and defence categories.

The Airports Authority of India has established cargo hubs at a number of airports including those at Nagpur, Lucknow and Coimbatore.