India also revealed its plans to build nine new airports to meet rising air traffic

India will build nine new ‘greenfield’ airports to meet the steep rise in domestic and international air passenger traffic, reported Wam, citing a senior minister.

In addition, 41 existing airports in India are being upgraded with state-of-the-art infrastructure and new facilities at a total cost of Rs980 billion ($12 billion), said Retired General VK Singh, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, in a written communication to the Parliament.

The high capital expenditure plan for upgrading existing airports with heavy traffic is being undertaken primarily by the Airports Authority of India, the minister stated.

Under the Indian government’s Greenfield Airports Policy (GFAP), 21 new airports were sanctioned “in-principle” some time ago, Singh said. “Out of these, 12 greenfield airports have been operationalised.”

As per this policy, any developer (including a state government) who desires to build an airport, has to first identify a suitable site and get the pre-feasibility study done for construction of the airport and then submit a proposal to the central government for site clearance.

“This will be followed by in-principle approval,” stated the minister.

The Kannur airport in the South Indian state of Kerala, which enjoys heavy traffic to and from the Gulf, is one of the 12 greenfield airports which have become functional under the GFAP, stated the minister.

Calicut, also in Kerala with a high number of passengers and airlines from the GCC countries, is one of the airports being upgraded, he added.