Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Tuesday said the construction of 12 new greenfield airports was likely to begin soon with the government granting them approval.
The real test for the Indian aviation sector is to create more (infrastructure) facilities... approvals have been granted to 12 new greenfield airports in different parts of the country,” Patel said while addressing an infrastructure conference organised by the Planning Commission.
“In 2004, India had 50 operational airports and at present there are over 90,” Patel said.
The penetration of civil aviation in India was among the lowest, with the country having a ratio of 2.89 million passenger per aircraft compared with 0.05 million in the US, the civil aviation minister said.
Maintaining that an airport was faster and cheaper to build than road or rail, Patel said this was a challenge as well as an investment opportunity for domestic and foreign investors.
The government’s policy to allow 100 per cent foreign foreign direct investment in the construction of Greenfield airports was a key factor, which was attracting huge investments in aviation infrastructure.
Patel also expressed optimism that domestic firms would also start participating in global bidding for airport and aviation infrastructure projects.