22 highway stretches across India may soon double up as airstrips
Road transport and highways ministry is working on a proposal with ministry of defence to construct runways on highway stretches and 22 such spots have been identified across the country.india Updated: Oct 17, 2016 13:58 IST
Road transport and highways ministry is working on a proposal with ministry of defence to construct runways on highway stretches and 22 such spots have been identified across the country.
“There are proposals to develop highway stretches in such a fashion that they may double up as airstrips. This will provide connectivity in difficult places,” road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said.
Gadkari said his ministry will shortly convene a meeting with the defence ministry to firm up the proposal.
According to an official, a committee comprising officials of both ministries has been constituted to come out with specifications of highway stretches that can double up as airstrips.
The committee will look into details such as feasibility of the stretches, their length and breadth, apart from other factors.
The official said that 22 identified stretches are located in various parts of the country.
In August, Gadkari had mentioned about construction of such an airport in Rajasthan and said similar projects were being planned in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and some other border districts.
In Rajasthan, such an airport could serve as an airstrip for landing and take-off when it is closed and traffic can be restored later.
The government is working on ways to boost regional air connectivity in the country. In the new civil aviation policy, the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) has been mooted, providing for various concessions to airlines.
Under the scheme, air ticket prices would be capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights on unserved and under-served routes.
There are 394 unserved and 16 under-served airports in the country.
As part of the RCS, the government plans to provide a Viability Gap Funding, which would be financed through the Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF).