• Government to develop 25 regional airports, says FM Arun Jaitley

    To improve air connectivity, Union Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government plans to develop 25 regional airports.

    “This year I have set a target of having 25 more regional airports,” Jaitley said.

    Speaking at a conference here, the finance minister also emphasised the need for having long-term funding for infrastructure.

    He said the government is looking to develop 15 airstrips owned by the state governments and 10 that are with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

    There are around 160 airstrips that are lying unused, he said while talking about the steps taken by the government for infrastructure development in the country.

    According to the minister, AAI would be able to fund itself from the money coming from Delhi and Mumbai airports.

    The international airports in the national capital and Mumbai are run through public private partnerships, where AAI is a stakeholder.

    Further, Jaitley said the operation and management of some developed airports could be given to private players.

    The government has been working on ways to bolster aviation sector, especially increasing regional connectivity amid rising number of air passengers.

    In the draft civil aviation policy, which is in the advanced stages of finalisation, various measures have been mooted for boosting regional air connectivity. 

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