NEW DELHI: Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday laid foundation stones for infrastructure projects in seven airports across the country. The projects, estimated to cost Rs 497 crore, will oversee development of airports in Trivandrum, Mangaluru, Madurai, Rupsi, Jaipur, Amritsar and Imphal.
The minister also inaugurated other airport infrastructure projects worth Rs 132.15 crore for three other airports.
Prabhu said work on different airports in the country has been started in order to boost the aviation sector.
“Till the time all regions of the country are developed, we cannot say that we have successfully fulfilled our responsibilities,” the minister added. At Mangaluru airport, the terminal building will be expanded from the existing 34,587 square metres to 45,930 square metres at a cost of Rs 133 crore and it will increase the peak hour handling capacity from 730 to 1,084 passengers.
In Rupsi district of Assam, Rs 69 crore will be spent on “development and operationalisation of Rupsi airport”, which will include construction of a terminal building having an area of 3,250 square metres with peak hour handling capacity of 300 passengers. According to airport authority of India (AAI) officials, a new international arrival block has been constructed at Calicut airport at a cost of Rs 121 crore.
“We are trying to ensure that the aviation sector contributes to the economy too...” he said after laying the foundation and inaugurating all the projects. Laying out the ministry’s plans for the sector, he said, “We are making an air cargo policy. In order to encourage companies to build aircraft in India, we are creating a roadmap. We are working to bring out regulations on drones... We are trying to find a way so that 100 new airports are built with an investment of $65 billion. We are also working to increase safety and security in the aviation sector.”
Speaking about passenger comfort, Prabhu said, “for more facilities, we have started Digiyatra and we will soon issue the passenger charter.”