Government of India (GoI) has revised the policy to modernise both non-metro and metro airports in the country. Minister for Civil Aviation, Praful Patel reasoned that the decision was taken after concern was expressed by few parliamentarians over the delay in the modernisation process of the 35 non-metro airports and Kolkata Airport. The decision was taken recently at a parliamentary session in New Delhi. The modernisation work of the 35 airports is expected to be complete by March-end 2010.While confirming that work on all the 35 non-metro projects is already underway, Patel added, “The Airport Authority of India (AAI) will develop the terminal building and air side infrastructure of these 35 non-metro airports in a time bound manner.
The city side development of select 24 non-metro airports will be done under the Public-Private-Partnership model.Elaborating on the decision Patel said that Committee of Infrastructure (CoI) has given approval for developing 35 non-metro airports. The CoI is headed by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. These airports are: Amritsar, Agra, Agatti, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Khajuraho, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Nagpur, Pune, Ranchi, Trichy, Trivandrum, Udaipur, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam, Agartala, Coimbatore, Dimapur, Goa, Guwahati, Imphal, Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Rajkot and Vadodara. GoI had approved the project to modernise the Kolkata Airport at an estimated cost of Rs 1942.51 crore. AAI will implement the project of modernising Kolkata Airport. The project work for the Kolkata Airport was awarded in October this year and is expected to be complete within thirty months (April 2011). According to Patel, the modernisation work has already begun and is on track as per the plan.