• Govt to spend Rs. 16k cr in the next 5 yrs on airport infrastructure

    The government is now working on a national level plan to make unused airstrips operational again, which will offer easy air connectivity to the people who are living in far-flung areas of the country. For this, the government will be spending Rs.16,000 crore in the next five years to upgrade the airport infrastructure, said Civil Aviation Secretary R. N. Choubey on Friday.

    Choubey was speaking at the Aviation Summit 2017, jointly organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation, government of Andhra Pradesh and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Vijaywada city of Andhra Pradesh.

    “We want to increase the number of air passengers to such a level that in the next five to seven years, India will become the third largest aviation market in the world. That’s the kind of market which is available here,” he said.

    Under the regional connectivity scheme, the government is providing 50-60% viability gap funding to airlines that connect unconnected airports, he added.

    Choubey informed that this is the first time that the civil aviation sector has achieved parity with the railways. “Civil aviation sector in India has achieved annual turnover of Rs. 1.4 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 1.6 lakh crore of Indian railways, he said.

    “Our airfare is comparable now with the fares of AC trains. Civil aviation was perceived in India as a mode of transport for only the rich. But now the change in perception among people as well as policy is happening,” he added. Gareon Conley Authentic Jersey

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