August 27, 2021 10:13:28 pm
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has written to the Maharashtra Chief Minister seeking his personal intervention for developing airports at Kolhapur, Solapur, Akola, Gondia, Amravati and other areas in order to strengthen aviation infrastructure in the state.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has started the expansion of airports at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore in the next four to five years to meet the growing passenger demand in the country.
In a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray, Scindia said that AAI has projected land requirements of 234.21 acres at Akola airport for development of basic strip and additional infrastructure. Of this only 149.95 acres has been handed over to AAI.
At Aurangabad, 182 acres is required for runway extension and parallel taxi track to make it suitable for operation of Code “E” type of aircraft. Since Aurangabad is located close to Ajanta and Ellora caves, there is tourist traffic from Buddhist countries.
At Gondia in Vidarbha, 47.6 acres is required at the airport for diversion of village road and city side development. This airport also houses a flying school.
At Kolhapur in western Maharashtra, 64 acres is required for runway extension and installation of approach lights for development of airport and operation of AB-320 type of aircraft. Devotees visiting Tirupati come here to worship Goddess Mahalaxmi.
An amount of Rs 95 crore has been allocated for development of Amravati and Ratnagiri airports. The airports need to be developed by the state government for commencing RCS – UDAN operations. Ratnagiri also has Coast Guard operations.
An amount of Rs 12.02 crore is outstanding on the part of the state government as viability gap funding share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT), Scindia wrote.
He also said that the state government must give consent to provide 100 per cent VGF support for international UDAN operations on Pune-Dubai, Pune-Bangkok, Pune-Male, Pune-Singapore, Pune-Kathmandu and Pune-Kuala Lumpur routes. After receiving this consent, routes will be put for bidding by the airlines.
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