India needs Rs 2-3 lakh crore investment for new airports: Jayant Sinha

Jayant Sinha

The country will require an investment of Rs 2-3 lakh crore over the next 10-15 years for setting up new airports and adding capacity at the existing ones, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said today. Aviation is going to be one of the major sectors that will drive economy going forward, and some 150-200 airports are needed for 90 per cent of the population to be within 60- 90 minutes away from an aerodrome, according to Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha. “We have to add more airport capacity as well as airspace capacity. Over the next 10-15 years, our estimation is that somewhere between Rs 2-3 lakh will be required to have new airports and in adding capacity,” he said at an aviation event organised by IMC chamber of commerce and industry here. Sinha said as many as 31 more airports have become operational in the last two years and currently the total number of airports stands at 106 from 75 aerodromes earlier.

“We need 150 to 200 airports for 90 per cent of the population to be within 60-90 minutes away from an airport,” the minister said. Aviation sector is poised for substantial growth, he said, adding, “It is going to be one of the major sector that will drive the economy.” Sinha said the government will be creating a unified security command to supervise security at Indian airports.

“We want a unified command to be able to keep all of the airports under supervision through a robust set of security protocols. So, unified security architecture is a major policy initiative that we have embarked on with the Ministry of Home Affairs,” he said. The civil aviation ministry has been working with the CISF on how to move towards a unified command for country’s airports, he said.

“Today, security is airport by airport. We have a mix of security personnel, we have CISF at many of our airports, CRPF in some and local police in others.”In our case, the CISF will be the unified command, where we don’t look at security airport by airport, but (are) looking at security across the entire aviation network,” he added.

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