Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Sep 14, 2006
Govt to invite EoIs for 35 non-metro airports in Oct
Ready for takeoff Consultants' reports on 25 non-metro airports ready
Vizag, Thiruvananthapuram and Srinagar figure in list
Govt mulls proposal to tide over manpower shortage
Plans to sign civil aviation co-operation programme with US
New Delhi , Sept. 13
The Government is to invite expressions of interest (EOIs) in October from private parties interested in participating in the city-side development of 35 non-metro airports, said Mr Ajay Prasad, Secretary (Civil Aviation), said on Wednesday.
"The consultants' reports for development of 25 non-metro airports have already been received and we should get reports on the rest in the next few weeks," he added.
"We plan to issue the EOIs for the city-side development of these airports in October itself."
He also said that at these airports, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) would make the necessary investment for the development of aero facilities.
The selected private parties would be allowed to develop airport hotels, run food courts, restaurants or operate parking lots, the Secretary said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the third Indo-US economic Summit, organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.
The 35 non-metro airports identified by the Government include those in cities of tourist interest apart from others in some State capitals.
"The process of modernising these 35 non-metro airports will be completed within four years. Initially, we will look to develop airports where land is easily available," Mr Prasad said.
Among the non-metro cities where the airports would be developed are Vizag, Thiruvananthapuram and Srinagar.
Meanwhile, to tide over manpower shortages including the lack of trained pilots, the Government is working on a proposal to compress the curriculum of pilots so as to cut down on training time.
"If the changes proposed by us are accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in November, then India would be among the first countries worldwide to implement the programme," the Secretary said.
During his address, Mr Prasad also outlined the various steps taken by the Government to develop the sector.
"Soon, we will be signing a civil aviation co-operation programme with the US."
He added that signing of the agreement would promote security and operational efficiency, apart from helping to get US certification for Indian products and services.
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