In a bid to create airport capacity to handle the exponential growth of air travel, the central government on Wednesday approved the upgradation and expansion of Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati airports at a cost of over Rs 5,000 crore.
According to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the upgradation of these airports with funds from a Rs 21,000 crore corpus created for various airports in the country.
"A sum of Rs 2,467 crore has been approved for the upgradation of Chennai airport with a new terminal building that will incorporate green building features with an aim to achieve the 'GRIHA 4 Star' rating," he said in Delhi.
"For the construction of new terminal buildings at Guwahati and Lucknow airports the sums approved are Rs 1,383 crore and Rs 1,232 crore, respectively," he added.
Besides, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha in a separate media interaction in Delhi said that India has witnessed the highest growth rate in its domestic aviation sector and that the government aims to create airport capacity via its new scheme 'NABH Nirmaan' (NextGen Airports for Bharat).
Sinha said that the scheme will enhance airport capacity by five times to handle one billion trips.
Currently, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is implementing plans for creating additional capacity at other airports -- Agartala, Patna, Srinagar, Pune, Trichy, Vijayawada, Port Blair, Jaipur, Mangalore, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Kolhapur, Goa, Rupsi, Leh, Calicut and Imphal with a capital expenditure of Rs 20,178 crore in the next four-five years.
"Many major cities are expected to have multiple airports. Government has granted approval for Navi Mumbai, Noida International Airport (Jewar), Mopa (Goa), Purandar Airport (Pune), Bhogapuram Airport (Visakhapatnam), Dholera Airport (Ahmedabad), Hirasar Airport (Rajkot)," the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.
"Capex outlay of over Rs 50,000 crore is expected in the development of New Greenfield Airports, wherein approval of Government of India has been given. In the private sector, upgradation and expansion is in the offing for Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad Airports and is expected to require an investment of Rs 25,000 crore in the next five years' time."