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AAI plans national strategy for airport development

State-owned AAI plans to have a national strategy for airports development and formulation of model concession agreements amid growing passenger traffic, which is expected to touch 322 million in 2018-19, according to its chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra. Pursuing ambitious expansion plans, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is preparing to commence “mega projects of new terminal buildings” at 14 aerodromes this year. “AAI is deliberating on national strategy for airports development and operations and formulation of model concession agreements,” Mohapatra said. In this regard, the national airports operator is already looking for a strategy consultant.

Against the backdrop of rising passenger numbers and infrastructure requirements, the AAI has been working on ways to increase its revenues from various sources. During April-October 2017 period, the AAI chief said, the total number of passengers handled rose to 171 million compared to 149 million in the year-ago period. “The passenger traffic in India is expected to be about 322 million in 2018-19,” he noted. India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. While outlining the initiatives for this year, Mohapatra said “airports/ terminal buildings” are likely to be ready at five places.

They are Jharsuguda in Odisha, Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Calicut (Kerala), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Pakyong (Sikkim). This year, the “mega projects” of new terminal buildings are to start at Guwahati, Leh, Patna, Trichy, Vijayawada, Jabalpur, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Srinagar Pune, Lucknow, Mangalore, Dehradun and Jaipur, he added. Besides, the AAI has a major role in readying airports under the regional connectivity scheme that seeks to unserved and under-served aerodromes as well as make flying more affordable. To a query on proposed amendments to the AAI Act with respect to easing the restrictions on use of airport land, Mohapatra said it is under the consideration of the civil aviation ministry.

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