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MARCH 2016 ISSUE

Force Magazine

In Flight Mode

A new civil aviation policy enhancing air connectivity to smaller cities is in the offing
 

Dilip Kumar Mekala

Addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session, President Pranab Mukherjee said that the government is working on a new civil aviation policy that will enhance air connectivity to smaller cities. The policy encourages the revival of unserved and under-served aerodromes and airstrips as no-frills airports to provide connectivity to Tier-II and Tier-III cities. According to the policy, the government will provide adequate support for the revival of the air strips through Airports Authority of India (AAI) depending on the demand. AAI has undertaken works at five locations - Hubli and Belgaum in Karnataka, Kishangarh in Rajasthan, Jharsuguda in Odisha and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh.

Jet Airways along with Air India subsidiary Alliance Air operate the newest ATR 72-600s in the country
Jet Airways along with Air India subsidiary Alliance Air operate the newest ATR 72-600s in the country. The latter being the first airline in India to operate the latest version of the 70-seat regional turboprop

Furthermore, AAI has undertaken the development and modernisation of airports at Bathinda, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Gondia, Jalgaon, Kadapa, Puducherry and Mysore. Out of these airports, scheduled operations have started at Kadapa, Puducherry and Mysore whereas flying training facilities are provided at Gondia airport which is under use for trainee pilots.

R.K.Srivastava, chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI) said in a recent conference that India has strong 300 million middle income group with disposable income to travel at least once in a year by air. Stating that India’s strong economic growth projections are likely to ensure the sustenance of traffic trends both in the passenger and cargo, he said, AAI is working zealously towards enhancing the capacity to meet the projected growth. AAI has completed the development of 33 airports. Of these the capacity at 10 airports which was enhanced to 30 million passengers per annum has already reached the levels of saturation and requires further augmentation. Giving further details he said the available terminal capacity as on date is 250 million of which capacity utilised is only 190 million. However, the capacity required in the next 10 years with the present trend of growth is 572 million. It would require creation of an additional capacity of 222 million. In this backdrop, the regional connectivity becomes crucial.

 
 
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