• Here’s what it costs to maintain non-operational airports

    A total amount of Rs 36.98 crore was spent on maintenance of non-operational airports over the last three years while Rs 897.28 crore were spent on 24 additional operational airports from where no scheduled airline is operating, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha.
    This amount was being spent from the consolidated fund of India, he said.
    Several members of the house raised questions relating to non-operational airports while several others spoke about the need for air-connectivity to various important cities and towns.
    However he added that the government is working on a “regional connectivity scheme” and once it takes off, “many (non-operational) airports would be put into service.”
    Sinha said while private airlines have the freedom to decide their routes, they could be given concessions for operating under the regional connectivity scheme like reduced tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel, Viability Gap Funding, reduced langing as well as route facilitation charges for flying to regional towns etc.
    To a question on connecting cities in Maharashtra, Sinha said that while government is keen, the reduction in fuel prices has led to an increase in demand for air travel across the world.
    This situation has resulted in shortage of planes domestically and the Mumbai Airport getting “congested” as it is difficult to find landing slots.
    To a question asked on connecting various cities in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh he said that the Centre is willing to work with the state governments on this. Tony Watson Jersey

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