Development of airports: Focus to be on tier-II, -III cities

Anjana Chandramouly Bangalore | Updated on November 20, 2017

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will invest Rs 67,500 crore over the next two decades to get 400 airports operational in the country.

“We have about 450 airports and airstrips in the country at present, and we want to mobilise as many as possible over this period of time,” Mr G.S. Bawa, General Manager, public relations for AAI, told Business Line, on the sidelines of the Global Investors' Meet 2012 in Bangalore on Wednesday.

According to him, about 125 airports are with the AAI, while 30-35 are civil enclaves. “The rest are all airstrips which need to be mobilised and made operational by 2030,” he said. The target is a steep increase from the current 84 operational airports in the country, he pointed out.

The focus for airport development will be tier-II and tier-III cities, as the “future lies in local hubs”, added Mr Bawa. The AAI will be banking on innovation to generate new traffic in these tier-II and tier-III cities, and he pointed out that while bigger cities become local hubs, smaller destinations will act as sub-hubs. “The model will be decided over a period of time,” he said.


On the funding of these new airports, he said, “We plan an investment of Rs 67,500 crore, of which Rs 15,000 crore will be the AAI outlay.” AAI is open to getting funding from various investors, and “we are thinking of our own bonds over a period of time. Whatever the gap can be filled through that,” said Mr Bawa.

On the dues that airlines like Kingfisher Airlines owe AAI, he pointed out that all efforts are being made to realise the dues as early as possible.

> anju@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 06, 2012

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