NEW DELHI: In an attempt to enhance air connectivity in the remote and regional sectors in the country, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is gearing up to appoint a consultant to assess the demand from various sectors for services.
R K Srivastava, chairman, Airport Authority of India (AAI) said, “We are working to augment air connectivity in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. By mid of January we will be appointing the consultant who will assess the various sectors,” he added without divulging any details.
The Aviation Ministry has entrusted AAI with the responsibility of providing low-cost airports in the country. At present, India has about 450 airports and airstrips out of which only around 125 airports are operational.
Srivastava said, “Our plan is to at least take this number to 200 operational airports in years to come. For that, we would require investment capital of around $12 billion.”
The Draft Civil Aviation policy proposes to connect the unserved air routes through the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) with an all-inclusive airfare not exceeding `2,500 per passenger for a one-hour flight on RCS routes.
Last year, AAI had been mandated to develop five airports at Kishangarh, Belgaum, Hubli, Jharusuguda and Tezu, for which work is already in progress.
As regards existing airports, the airport operator is planning to take up Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports on management contract for upgrading their facilities. Development works for many other airports like Guwahati, Lucknow, Chennai and Kolkata are also in the pipeline.
The authority has also proposed a 45 per cent increase in landing, parking and other aero charges at small airports, classified as non-major airports, citing losses and non-revision of tariff since 2001.