Oct 17, 2008

India - Multiple airports policy coming

Vinay Kumar

HYDERABAD: The policy of not having a second airport in a city within a 150-km radius of the existing one was “fundamentally flawed,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Thursday.

“If London can have seven airports, greater New York area nearly 20, I think expanding cities in our country can have multiple airports, they can certainly absorb more than one airport, this change will reflect in the new policy,” he told a seminar here.

‘Biggest of its sort’

Citing the example of Mumbai and Pune, Mr. Patel said a new airport in Navi Mumbai was in the pipeline and upgrading of the of Pune airport was also on the cards. “This belt of Mumbai-Pune is the biggest of its sort in the region in terms of residential and industrial projects. Similarly, the National Capital Region of Delhi has industrial towns like Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad and this area can also have multiple airports.”

FDI limit

With the Foreign Direct Investment limit being raised to 100 per cent for Greenfield airports, Mr. Patel expected “upscale” growth in creating new, world-class aviation infrastructure.

“I want our people to fly in and out of our airports and I want airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati and other cities to become hubs of my own country. If the U.S. can have so many hubs, the length and breadth of our country can also have such hubs and they can become engines of growth.”

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