Modi govt puts several UP airport projects on fast track - Firstpost

Modi govt puts several UP airport projects on fast track

New Delhi: Bringing out of the cold storage several airport projects in Uttar Pradesh in view of the assembly polls early next year, the NDA government has put them on the fast track with two of them -- Allahabad and Agra -- likely to be operational in a couple of months.

All these airport project were initiated during the erstwhile UPA regime.

Representational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

At a review meeting held here to assess the progress on the development of seven regional airports in the state and implementation of the proposed regional connectivity scheme (RCS), the Civil Aviation Ministry has advised the UP Government to complete the obstacle survey for the Jewar airport in Gautam Budha Nagar at the earliest.

National airports operator AAI had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UP government in February 2014 for the development of no-frill airports/civil  enclaves  at Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Kanpur, Faizabad, Meerut and Moradabad.

Agra and Allahabad will start operations immediately under the regional air connectivity scheme, while flights from the two other regional airports Bareilly and Kanpur will commence from later this year, Minister of State for Civil

Aviation Mahesh Sharma, who took the review meeting along with senior Ministry and AAI officials as well as senior officials from UP Government, told reporters here.

The Ministry had on July 1 rolled out the draft regional connectivity scheme which seeks to boost flying with measures such capping of fares fare for a one-hour flight of approximately 500 km on a fixed-wing aircraft or on a 30-minute helicopter ride at Rs 2,500, providing Viability Gap Funding (VGF) - which would be financed through Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF), among others.

According to Sharma, the airports at Moradabad, Meerut and Faizabad are also expected to be operational with Uttar Pradesh agreeing to invest Rs 100 crore each on their development.

The Master Plan for these seven projects have already been prepared by the AAI and the state government has started the land acquisition proceedings.

The land will be available for Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly and Kanpur airports by October, later an official release said.

The State Government has requested that the land requirement for Meerut, Faizabad and Moradabad should be reworked, the release said adding it was also decided to revise the complete Master Plan within one month's time to enable UP government start land acquisition proceedings.

According to Government, there are 394 unserved and 16 under-served airports in the country. UP alone has 27 such airports/airstrips out of the total 394.

There are about 30 such airports which can be used for operations without incurring any extra cost on their revival, Civil Aviation secretary R N Choubey had said last week. Besides, the government has also announced that it would provide funds for revival of another 60 airports.

This was the first meeting between the Civil Aviation ministry and a state government, since the draft policy roll out and assumes significance in view of the assembly polls in the state in early 2017. The Ministry plans to have similar meetings with other states as well in its bid to seek an early implementation of the ambitious scheme.

The release also said that state government has submitted application for getting the site clearance for the proposed Jewar airport from the Steering Committee. "It was advised that the obstacle survey to be completed by the state government at the earliest so that the application for site clearance can be processed," the release added.


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