Govt plans 50 new airports in three years to boost regional connectivity


India, the fastest growing aviation market in the world, is set to get 50 new airports in the next three years as part of a plan to boost regional connectivity, and of these, at least 10 will become operational over the next one year, said civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in an interaction with reporters in Mumbai in Tuesday.

The government, he added, will support newer entrants in the aviation space by “light hand-holding”.

To give wings to the ambitious regional connectivity plan, the government will take up some of the so-called ghost airports through a yet-to-be-finalized viability gap funding plan.

India has more than 30 non-operational airports and more than 400 airstrips dating back to World War II.

“It took us some time to roll out the regional connectivity scheme. The idea was to convert the wish list into a work list,” Raju said.

Later in the day, the minister signed a memorandum of agreement for regional connectivity with the Maharashtra government. The state is the first to have done so, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted.