AIRLINES AND NEW LOW-COST AIRPORTS
The government is set to allow airlines have a greater say while deciding locations for new no-frills airports. This is to ensure that the Narendra Modi Government’s grand plan of developing regional connectivity by building low-cost airports does not produce dormant assets. Under this plan, airlines will be asked to submit a detailed plan on the viability of the location, following which the Ministry will consult the government of the state where the airport will be built. Airlines will be asked to furnish specific details like the capacity they want to deploy, type of aircraft they will fly and expected occupancy levels. This will help the Ministry of Civil Aviation decide whether the players themselves are interested in developing the route. “New airports that will be built should be demand driven. Developing infrastructure without knowing its potential does not make any sense,” said Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation. According to data provided by Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in Parliament, there are 30 airports in the country from which no aircraft took off or landed after these became operational. In 2014-15 and 2013-14, these airports earned a revenue of 0.69 crore and 0.40 crore and incurred an expenditure of 11.13 crore and 12.97 crore, respectively. Beside these, there are 25 airports termed operational that see no flights as airlines don’t find the locations viable.