Govt to invest Rs 1 lakh crore on airport infrastructure

The government plans to invest around Rs 1 lakh crore for the development of airport infrastructure, in a bid to meet rising demand for air traffic to various cities, amidst a scarcity of land availability.

Air traffic grew over 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 but airport infrastructure has not matched the growing air traffic and number of aircraft, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu, said today. 
He said passenger trips have gone up from 10 crore four years ago to 20 crore now. Without going into specific details, Prabhu  said, “The ministry in consultation with experts within India and outside are finding out ways of creating new airports with less availability of land.” 
He said the civil aviation ministry was working at partnering with state governments, who would have to provide the land, while the centre would fund the cost of infrastructure for new airports. 
Prabhu also said the ministry is framing a cargo policy and suggested that airspace could be utilised at night for cargo traffic as commercial flight movement would be lower. 
The minister said that efforts are being made for aircraft manufacturing in India. “This is a 'Make in India' programme because if India needs to buy a thousand planes in [the] next few years time only for passengers and then cargo, 'Make in India' makes a commercial sense.” 
Prabhu disclosed that during his recent visit to the Airbus facility in France, he had suggested that the company explore the possibility of manufacturing planes in India.
According to minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha, 31 airports have become operational because of the Udaan scheme and orders have been placed for 100 turboprop aircraft.