Speaking at the Conference of the Ministers of Civil Aviation of states and Union Territories, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the civil aviation sector has passed through difficult times, and it is now ready for take-off to its true potential.
He mentioned that in next four years, about INR 95,000 crore are likely to be invested by the government and the private sector on airports, which includes greenfield as well as brownfield airports.
“The Airports Authority of India is working on expansion of about 40 airports and setting up of 3-4 new greenfield airports. Similarly, private sector is also working on 60 brownfield and 3 greenfield airports. In last 8 years, the number of airports has gone up from 74 to 141 (including helipads and waterdromes) and the number is likely to cross 200 in next 4-5 years,” Scindia said on the occasion.
Emphasising on the importance of helipads in providing last-mile connectivity, Scindia urged the states to set up helipads in every district. “The government recently abolished TNFC/RNFC charges in 21 states to encourage helicopter operations,” he added.Calling India a towering phoenix, the Minister said that India today is one of the few countries operating seamlessly in a high demand-led environment. He further said that the major growth for aviation has been in the Tier II and III cities, compared to larger cities.
During the conference, Scindia also urged the remaining eight states to bring down the VAT so that the barriers to growth are removed. The Minister said that cheaper raw material would give impetus to better connectivity.