A dream com­ing true

Project Monitor - - AIRPORTS SPECIAL -

mo­tion of avi­a­tion acad­e­mies, and sup­port­ive poli­cies for air­lines and tourism. West Ben­gal was the first large state to de­clare zero per cent sales tax on ATF at its re­gional air­ports and 15 per cent sales tax on ATF used by additional flights at Kolkata Air­port.

Much needs to be done, as sev­eral Tier II & III cities are still un­con­nected or un­der­served. These in­volve re­lax­ation on reg­u­la­tions, re­vis­ing the se­cu­rity re­quire­ments, al­low­ing do­mes­tic code shar­ing, pro­vid­ing free or dis­counted util­i­ties and con­nect­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Air­ports Author­ity of In­dia has de­vel­oped and up­graded 60 air­ports which in­clude 35 air­ports in ma­jor cities and 25 air­ports in Tier II & III cities. In 2013-14, new ter­mi­nals were com­mis­sioned in Chen­nai, Kolkata, Kadappa, Gon­dia (Mod­ule-II) Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and Goa. A new civil en­clave was con­structed at Bikaner Air­port. Be­sides, AAI also com­pleted the ex­pan-

Ision and upgra­da­tion of two metro air­ports in Kolkata and Chen­nai at a cost of ` 2,325 crore and ` 2,015 crore, re­spec­tively.

An­nual cargo han­dling ca­pac­ity and ef­fi­ciency of op­er­a­tions at Chen­nai Air­port was aug­mented to han­dle over­all 11 lakh tonnes of cargo with the con­struc­tion of a mod­ern im­port cargo com­plex equipped with au­to­matic stor­age re­trieval sys­tem at a cost of ` 144 crore.

Over­all, in or­der to be­come a top avi­a­tion mar­ket, all-round im­prove­ments are re­quired–in air­ports, air nav­i­ga­tion, cargo, MRO, gen­eral avi­a­tion and hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment. ndia's cur­rent MRO (main­te­nance-re­pair-over­haul) mar­ket size is es­ti­mated to be around $700 mil­lion. By 2020, the to­tal In­dian fleet would dou­ble in num­ber, mak­ing it crit­i­cal to have a strong do­mes­tic MRO in­dus­try, the FICCI-KPMG re­port felt. Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try sources, merely 5-10 per cent of the MRO work for do­mes­tic sched­uled car­ri­ers is car­ried out in In­dia, while most of the main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties are out­sourced to third-party ser­vice providers out­side the coun­try. An in­ter-min­is­te­rial task force on MRO needs to be formed im­me­di­ately by the govern­ment to check the out­flow of MRO rev­enue, for­eign ex­change and jobs.

ANTHONY

AZAVEDO

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