Can utilise unused airports for other commercial purposes: Official

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The government on Thursday said it will consider the possibility of utilising unused airports for other commercial purposes.

“The Civil Aviation Ministry would look at the possibility of utilising certain unused airports for the purpose of parking aircraft and using aerodromes for plane-breaking or dismantling of old aircraft,” Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said at an industry event here.

According to Choubey, there are currently around 400 unused airports and airstrips across the country.

Choubey said the government intended to stay ahead of the growth curve in the industry and the recently approved civil aviation policy was just the first step in this direction.

“If we fall behind the growth curve, for example as it happened in case of urban development in the country, there will be aviation chaos in skies, airports… All that we must do in order to ensure that we stay ahead of the growth curve,” Choubey said.

He was speaking at the ‘9th International Conference on Indian Civil Aviation and Tourism’, organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

Choubey also highlighted several key areas which hinder regional connectivity like high cost of aircraft leasing.

“If the cost leasing remains high either because of capital or any other procedural requirement, regional connectivity may find difficulty in taking off so we are committed to exploring ways to reduce the cost of leasing,” he said.

–IANS

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