Within years, you’ll be able to fly to Shirdi, Jalgaon and Solapur.
The boom in the aviation sector has spurred the state government to clear the three new airports. At Solapur and Jalgaon, existing airstrips will be upgraded to full-fledged airports, while the temple town of Shirdi will get a brand new facility — likely to be the busiest among the three because of the large number of devotees who visit every year.
The airport at Shirdi will cost an estimated Rs 263 crore, while the ones at Solapur and Jalgaon will cost Rs 263 and Rs 309 crore respectively.
They will be developed in a partnership between private investors and the state’s nodal aviation agency, Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC).
Airports Authority of India will hold a 13 per cent stake in each project.
The development plans were discussed at an MADC meeting in the presence of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Friday.
“The Jalgaon and Solapur airports should be functional in two years. In Shirdi, land acquisition has started and we need Cabinet clearance for the plan,” said Sanjay Ubale, secretary (special projects).
State officials had initially chalked out a plan for seven new airports, but with most airlines bleeding and aviation fuel costs soaring, the state has put on hold the plans for airports at Phaltan, Dhule, Karad and Chandrapur.