Navi Mumbai airport phase I to be ready by 2020: Minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 28, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with CII President Naushad Forbes, President-designate Shobana Kamineni, CII vice president Rakesh Bharti Mittal and DG Chandrajit Banerjee and past president Sumit Mazumdar releases a publication at the CII Annual Session 2017,in New Delhi on Friday. - PTI


2nd round of UDAN bidding in 3 months

The first phase of Navi Mumbai airport is likely to come up by 2020, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha has said.

Addressing the CII Annual Session 2017, the Minister said that in the first phase a runway and a terminal building should come up at the Navi Mumbai airport. The Navi Mumbai airport was initially supposed to become a reality in 2019. The Minister pointed out that there were several reasons why the airport was taking long to come up including the fact that the area where the airport will come up was marshy. ``It will take significant amount of time to resolve the issues. We also need to accelerate and expedite the process as much as possible,” the Minister said.

Later addressing a press conference, the Minister indicated that the second round of bidding for airlines for routes under the Government’s regional air connectivity scheme should be completed in the next three months.

The regional air connectivity scheme popularly called UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) seeks to give an opportunity to people to fly from tier II and III cities at a ticket price of ₹ 2,500. Airlines operating under the UDAN scheme have to ensure that the price of at least 50 per cent of the seats on their flights is ₹ 2,500 for an hour of flying. The Centre and states provide viability gap funding for the airlines operating on the UDAN routes to ensure profitability of these flights.

The first flight under the first round of the scheme took off on Thursday with Alliance Air, the regional wing of Air India operating a flight between Shimla and Delhi. Besides, Trujet also launched two flights connecting Hyderabad-Nanded and Hyderabad-Kadapa.

The Minister also indicated that the Government was working on a no-fly list which will be drawn up based on both safety and security considerations. He pointed out that this was unique as globally only security considerations prevent a passenger from being allowed to board a flight operated by a commercial airline.

At the moment there is no clarity on whether there will be one no-fly list which all airlines will have to follow or whether each airline will be allowed to maintain its own individual no-fly list.

The need for a no-fly list came up after Shiv Sena Member of Parliament, Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staffer in March this year. The MP was upset that he was made to fly in economy class on Air India.

Following the assault initially Air India and then all domestic airlines declined to fly the MP. Fifteen days after the incident and after Gaikwad wrote to Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Union Civil Aviation Minister, the ban on him was lifted.

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Published on April 28, 2017
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