New policy for Greenfield airports by 2008: Praful Patel

New Delhi: The government will announce a new policy on Greenfield airports next year, civil aviation minister Praful Patel said here Tuesday.

"We are on the verge of finalising the policy of creating Greenfield airports," Patel said at the Economic Editors'' Conference currently underway here. He said, that "by 2008 we should be having a new policy for Greenfield airports."

An inter-ministerial group finalised a draft policy last month, which has been sent to the committee on infrastructure, headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh. The committee will forward it to the cabinet for final approval.

The new policy will not only restructure guidelines for approving new airports, but also provide guidelines for granting technical approvals by various agencies involved in airport construction.

The minister also said the government was aggressively looking at strengthening regional airline services for providing better connectivity to tier-II and tier-III cities.

''It''s a new concept, and given the dynamics of the aviation industry, this is utterly needed. This would not only be helpful in providing better connectivity but also in decongestion,'' he said.

The new airports coming up in Delhi and Bangalore would be commissioned by March next year, the minister informed the gathering.