THE Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) will build 50 new airports in non-metropolitan cities to the tune of Rs15 billion (US$249.5 million) within the next few years.
Part of the new Union budget announced by the government earlier this month (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 11, 2014), the plan will see no-frills airports come up in Tier Two and Three cities such as Navi Mumbai, Juhu, Goa, Kannur, Pune, Sriperumbudur, and Bellary by 2017, said civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
Night parking charges at these airports will be waived, added minister of state for civil aviation GM Siddeshwara.
The said airports are part of India's grand plan to have 200 new airports within the next decade.
Meanwhile existing airports at Bhopal, Indore and Raipur will be upgraded to international airports, paving the way for another 10 airports in secondary cities to go international by 2020.
Non-metropolitan airports presently account for 30 per cent of air traffic and are expected to reach 45 per cent by 2017.
India’s current airport capacity totals 121 million domestic travellers and 41 million international. With the new airports, India will be geared to handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers by 2020.