200 new low-cost airports in India

India plans to boost the aviation sector with 200 low-cost airports expected to be ready in the next 20 years.

Through this project it is aimed to connect tier-II and tier-III cities, according to a civil aviation ministry official.

These plans will be the main focus point at India Aviation 2014, the country’s largest civil aviation exhibition and conference.

G. Ashok Kumar, joint secretary, civil aviation, announced that low-cost, small airports will be built in tier-II and tier-III cities, expected to spur the evolution of the aviation sector in the second phase.

“As the operating and service costs at the major airports are phenomenally high, there are plans to build small no-frill airports. They will have the basic infrastructure and will be like upgraded high-class railway stations,” he said.

In the present, the non-metro airports in India represent only 30 per cent of the total air traffic, but it is expected to reach 45 per cent in the following years.

15 additional airports are expected to be built in India under the Greenfield Airport Policy, by identifying the most suitable low cost viable model.

Airports Authority of India aims to invest Rs15 billion (Dh905 million) in the development of non metro airports and $120 billion (Dh440 billion) will be invested in the development of airport infrastructure.

India expects to become the third largest fast growing aviation market in the world after US and China by 2020. Now, it ranks ninth in the top.

Indian airport system is expected to handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers by 2020, from the current 121 million domestic and 41 million international passengers.

 “About 400 aircraft are currently operational in the country and by 2020 the number is expected to reach 1000 aircrafts,” said Ashok Kumar.

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