National

AP plans setting up civil aviation board to develop airports

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on February 12, 2013

The Andhra Pradesh Government is considering setting up a State Civil Aviation Board under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to oversee development of new airports in tier II cities.

This is, in fact, one of the recommendations of the Administrative Staff College of India, which had been entrusted with the task of mapping out a draft policy for airports development. It has come out with different models, which are being examined by the State Government.

The proposed board will have the Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao as the Vice-Chairman.

The Chief Minister, at a review meeting on airports, ports and LNG today, said the viability of the proposed locations for the airports would be studied in greater detail before the next Assembly session.

Chief Secretary Minnie Mathew and Principal Secretaries R.R. Mishra, B.R. Meena, Sam Bob and S. P. Singh participated in the meeting.

The civil aviation policy aims at promoting development of non-hub airports across the State, which would act as centres of economic activity and tourism.

It has been proposed that financing gaps, if any, could be bridged through the viability gap funding scheme from the Central Government, which provides for a capital grant of up to 20 per cent of the project cost.

The Chief Minister said the State will provide additional financing for up to 20 per cent of project cost. Other incentives from the State include municipal tax reimbursements, attractive VAT/ST rates, road connectivity to potential location of civil aviation infrastructure, utility connections to the site and single-window clearance.

Srinivasa Rao said an extent of 966 acres was being acquired at a cost of Rs 120 crore for the development of Rajahmundry airport, which was being fast-tracked.

Maritime Board

The Chief Minister also reviewed the constitution of a Maritime Board, which will be eligible for financial assistance from the Centre for development of ports. It will also have power to borrow loans from World Bank and other financial institutions.

It was decided to reintroduce the State Maritime Board Bill in the ensuing session of Assembly.

The board will have officials from the Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and chambers of commerce as members.

Reddy also reviews the implementation of the Petronet LNG Terminal Project at Gangavaram. It was pointed out at the meeting that the project would begin commercial operations by 2014 end.

amit.mitra@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 12, 2013

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