Govt has given ‘in-principle’ approval to set up 21 Greenfield airports: Minister V. K. Singh

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Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation V. K. Singh in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday informed that the Indian government had given ‘In Principle’ approval to setting up twenty one Greenfield airports across the country. 

According to reports, India’s annual civil aviation sector growth rate currently sits at 9%, but is expected to reach into the double digits for the coming years. Over the next two decades, the number of airports is expected to increase from 133 to 500. Of these, 367 are slated to be greenfield airports.

Greenfield Airport in India

According to Singh’s statement these 21 airports would be set up in Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai, Sindhudurg and Shirdi in Maharashtra, Bijapur,Hassan, Kalaburagi and Shimoga in Karnataka, Dabra (Gwalior) in Madhya Pradesh, Kushinagar and Jewar (Noida) in Uttar Pradesh, Dholera and Hirasar in Gujarat, Karaikal in Puducherry, Dagadarthi, Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh, Durgapur in West Bengal, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.

Notably eight of these twenty one Greenfield airports have already been operationalized, namely- Durgapur Airport in West Bengal, Shirdi Airport in Maharashtra, Kannur Airport in Kerala, Pakyong Airport in Sikkim, Kalaburagi Airport in Karnataka, Orvakal (Kurnool) Airport in Andhra Pradesh, Sindhudurg Airport in Maharashtra and Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh.

Regarding delay in construction, Singh noted that the timeline for construction of airports depends upon various factors such as land acquisition, mandatory clearances, removal of obstacles, financial closure by the respective airport developers. The responsibility of implementation of airport projects including funding of the projects rests with the concerned airport developer including the respective State Government (in case the State Government is the project proponent).

Greenfield Airport is a term used to identify a new airport, built from scratch in a new location. Such airports are constructed to support the projected requirements of traffic of the existing airport.

 UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has also launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) in October, 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and making air travel affordable to the masses. The expansion/development of airports under the scheme is ‘demand driven’, depending upon firm commitment from airline operators as well as from the State Government for providing various concessions, said Singh in hos statement. 

On the basis of four round of biddings under UDAN, 154 RCS airports including 14 water aerodromes & 36 Helipads across the length and breadth in the country including in Uttar Pradesh have been identified for operation of RCS flights. As on 14.03.2022, 66 unserved and underserved airports including 8 Heliports & 2 water aerodromes have been operationalized. The list of 66 operationalized UDAN airports/heliports/water aerodromes is annexed, Singh said.

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