New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has requested the chief ministers of Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to expedite matters related to aviation infrastructure such as land allocation for airports. Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has embarked upon the development and expansion of airports in the country at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore in the next four to five years in order to meet the growing passenger demand in the country, the Civil Aviation Ministry said.
In a letter to Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy, Scindia said the AAI needs 161.5 acres of land, 104 acres from the Tamil Nadu government and 57.5 acres from the Rangasamy's government, to extend the runway at Puducherry airport and make it suitable for operation of ATR72 and Q400 aircraft. However, the land is yet to be handed over to the AAI by the two governments, he added.
Scindia wrote a separate letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, requesting him to hand over 88 acres of and that is needed by the AAI for infrastructure works at the Chennai airport. He told Stalin that 642.18 acres of land is required at the Trichy airport by the AAI for runway extension, basic strip, apron, terminal building and associated infrastructure. "However, only 40.93 acres has been handed over to AAI. The remaining 642.18 acres is yet to be handed over (at the Trichy airport)," he added.
Scindia said the Tamil Nadu government may give their consent to provide 100 percent VGF support for international UDAN operations on Coimbatore-Colombo, Coimbatore-Dubai, Coimbatore-Singapore, Coimbatore-Kuala Lumpur, Madurai-Dubai, Madurai-Colombo and Madurai-Singapore routes. "On receipt of the consent of the state government for 100 per cent VGF support, routes will be put up for bidding by the airlines," he mentioned.
In his letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Scindia said 145 acres of land is needed at the Udaipur airport, 58.55 acres at the Bikaner airport, 55.9 acres at the Jodhpur airport, 51 acres at the Uttarlai airport for infrastructure works that have been planned. The Minister said an amount of Rs 94 lakh is outstanding on part of the Rajasthan government as viability gap funding (VGF) share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).
Under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, financial incentives from the Centre, state governments and airport operators are extended to select airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports and keep airfares affordable.
Scindia wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, telling him that 660 acres of land is required for phase-wise development of the Ayodhya airport, 60 acres of land is required at the Gorakhpur airport for the development of a new civil enclave, and 57 acres of land is required at Agra airport for expansion of its civil enclave.
In his letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Scindia said the AAI has a projected land requirement of 104.65 acres for the development of the Bagdogra airport.
The minister said 37.74 acres and 38.2 acres of land is needed by the AAI to develop Hasimara airport and Kalaikunda airport, respectively.
"The state government may give their consent to provide 100 per cent VGF support for international UDAN operations on Bagdogra- Kathmandu and Bagdogra - Bangkok routes. On receipt of the consent of State Govt. for 100 per cent VGF support, routes will be put up for bidding by the airlines," Scindia mentioned.
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