New terminals to augment capacity at Lucknow, Chennai, Guwahati (Roundup)

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New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Central government has approved the upgradation and expansion of Lucknow, Chennai and Guwahati airports at a cost of over Rs 5,000 crore, as it foresees a capital expenditure of around Rs 1 lakh crore to create capacity across various airports in the next five years.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the upgradation of these three airports with funds from a Rs 21,000 crore corpus created for various airports in the country.

After the CCEA meet, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “A sum of Rs 2,467 crore has been approved for the upgradation of Chennai airport with a new terminal building that will incorporate green building features with an aim to achieve the ‘GRIHA 4 Star’ rating.”

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“For the construction of new terminal buildings at Guwahati and Lucknow airports, the sums approved are Rs 1,383 crore and Rs 1,232 crore respectively.”

According to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), about 60 per cent of the fund amount for upgradation and expansion of airports will be raised from the debt market, while the rest 40 per cent will come from their own resources.

The company added that new airports or terminals will be rooted in local culture and design, while still making them digital-ready as part of the ‘DigiYatra’ initiative.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the government aims to create airport capacity via its new scheme ‘NABH Nirmaan’ (NextGen Airports for Bharat). The scheme is expected to enhance airport capacity by five times to handle one billion trips in the next 10-15 years.

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He disclosed that analysts have estimated a cost of Rs 3-4 lakh crore would be needed to ensure infrastructure to facilitate a billion trips.

“Now of that Rs 3-4 lakh crore, we currently have visibility of about Rs 1 lakh crore for the next five years,” Sinha said.

Currently, AAI is implementing plans for creating additional capacity at other airports — Agartala, Patna, Srinagar, Pune, Trichy, Vijayawada, Port Blair, Jaipur, Mangalore, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Kolhapur, Panaji, Rupsi, Leh, Calicut and Imphal with a capital expenditure of Rs 20,178 crore in the next four-five years.

As per Ministry of Civil Aviation, many major cities are expected to have multiple airports.

“Government has granted approval for Navi Mumbai, Noida International Airport (Jewar), Mopa (Goa), Purandar Airport (Pune), Bhogapuram Airport (Visakhapatnam), Dholera Airport (Ahmedabad), Hirasar Airport (Rajkot),” the ministry said in a statement.

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“Capex outlay of over Rs 50,000 crore is expected in the development of New Greenfield Airports, wherein approval of Government of India has been given. In the private sector, upgradation and expansion is in the offing for Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad Airports and is expected to require an investment of Rs 25,000 crore in the next five years’ time.”

Sinha added that Pakyong airport which is expected to be inaugurated soon will become the country’s 100th airport. Presently, India has 94 operational airports.

–IANS

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