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Development of low cost airports to improve connectivity

New Delhi. The Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Civil Aviation discussed the issue of airport infrastructure and air connectivity recently.

Addressing the meeting, Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh said that aviation has emerged as one of the most important growth engines of the country during the 11th Plan period. During the last 10 years for instance, compounded annual growth rate of passenger traffic has been approximately 15 per cent. He also pointed out that Low Cost Carriers were getting more the traffic.

Elaborating on simplification of procedures for sanctioning buildings around airports, Ajit Singh said that the Government has decided to do away with the system of taking NOC from Airports Authority of India (AAI) every time and has now prescribed the height at different distances from the airports up to which the local municipal authority will be empowered to sanction the map of the area around airports. The builder/applicant will have to come to AAI only if they want to consider building higher than the prescribed heights.

He informed that apart from 5 major airports already operationalised under Joint Venture/ PPP mode, Government has given in principle approval for setting up of 15 new Greenfield airports including Goa , Navi Mumbai and Kannur. He outlined the priority areas of the Ministry which included providing greater connectivity to smaller and remote parts of the country, development of low-cost airports, reduction of VAT on ATF, bringing ATF under the ambit of PNGRB Act, India to be developed as an international hub, creation of a Civil Aviation Authority and also of Civil Aviation Security Force.

Mr Ajit Singh also said that India ’s GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation System known as GAGAN developed by AAI with the support of ISRO is likely to be rolled out by July, 2013.

Incidentally, GAGAN is one of the most sophisticated ventures in aircraft connectivity. US defence and civil aviation technology giant Raytheon is setting up the required ground network to maintain it.

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