• AAI chalks out Rs 15,000-crore plan for upgradation of airports over 4 years

    In its biggest-ever investment outlay, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has chalked out a plan to invest Rs 15,000 crore over the next four years in the development and upgradation of airports.

    The outlay will include cost for installing solar capacities at several airports dotting the country. The plan was approved last month by the civil aviation ministry, which has also created a four-member team to monitor the targets set in the plan. “The ministry has ordered formation of a committee with representation from the finance ministry to monitor it,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official, who did not want to be identified.

    The panel will have AAI’s chairman and member (finance) and one joint secretary each from aviation and finance ministries as its members. Last time, Airports Authority of India had spent so much was on upgrading 35 non-metro airports at an estimated investment of Rs 12,500 crore.

    Of the Rs 15,000 crore, a whoppingRs 13,000 crore would be invested on upgrade, expansion and extension of 39 airports and about Rs 2,000 crore is to be spent over revival and upgrade of airports in smaller cities. The rest is to be spent over installation of solar power capacity at various airports.

    s part of the plan, airports, including Chennai, Guwahati, Patna, Srinagar, Jammu, Lucknow and others, will get new terminals and airports like Jaipur, Amritsar, Raipur, Ahmedabad among others will see runway upgrades.

    The official added that aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju convened the meeting where the plan was approved.

    “The minister’s (Raju) biggest concern was completion of upgrade and expansion projects of airports, as he wants Airports Authority of India to be ready to cater to the needs of the rising number of passengers in the country,” said the official. He added that the minister wants the committee to ensure that the airport upgrade projects adhere to the timelines.

    Meanwhile, the government is also working on a proposal to investRs 6,000 crore this fiscal year to revive and develop 75 regional airports, which currently see little activity. Warren Sapp Jersey

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