India will soon have more airports! The Modi government has made various initiatives to overhaul the country's civil aviation sector, including providing world-class infrastructure and facilities. India will see enormous growth in the aviation sector in the coming years, with 21 new airports. Shirdi in Maharashtra, Pakyong in Sikkim, Durgapur in West Bengal, Kannur in Kerala, Kalaburagi in Karnataka, and Orvakal in Andhra Pradesh are the six Greenfield airports that have been operationalized so far. According to the Minister of State of Civil Aviation, V.K. Singh’s recent reply to a query in Rajya Sabha, the Modi government has provided support to India’s Civil Aviation sector which includes the following:
- To meet the expected growth in the aviation sector, the Airports Authority of India has taken up a development programme to spend an amount of around Rs 25,000 crores in the next four to five years for expansion and modification of existing terminals, expansion or strengthening of existing runways, new terminals, aprons, ANS, technical blocks, control towers, etc.
- The government has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for establishing 21 Greenfield Airports across India.
- Private investments’ promotion in existing as well as new airports through the public-private partnership (PPP) route.
- As of 27 July 2021, 359 routes have commenced under Regional Connectivity Scheme– UDAN, connecting 59 unserved and underserved airports in India, including two water aerodromes as well as five heliports.
- Route rationalization in the airspace of India in coordination with IAF for shorter routes, lower fuel consumption and efficient airspace management.
- Efforts have been made, through Air Bubble Arrangements, for fair & equitable treatment to carriers in the international sector.
- Airlines have been supported by the government through various policy measures to improve their global competitiveness like rationalization of taxes, effective use of bilateral traffic rights, creation of a conducive aircraft leasing as well as financing environment, and air navigation facilities’ improvement, etc.
The airlines have been encouraged by the government to buy modern wide-body aircraft. So far, two new wide-body aircraft have been acquired by Vistara Airlines.