Amausi’s 300-cr flight grounded in ministry’s hangar!
The minister had promised another Rs 200-crore for the modernisation of Varanasi airport , reports Santosh Chowdhury.lucknow Updated: Apr 14, 2007 05:41 IST
It's been almost three-and-a-half months of 2007 and the Union Civil Aviation Ministry is still sitting on a Rs 300-crore modernisation proposal for the Amausi Airport.
The announcements made by Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in June 2006 to begin modernisation work of Amausi Airport still remains muddled in bureaucratic red tape.
The minister had promised another Rs 200-crore for the modernisation of Varanasi airport where work finally started on the project in December 2006.
The ministry had already asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to start construction of Rs 87- crore fully integrated terminal building at the airport and complete the project within the next 15 months. However, the work is yet to start on the project.
The proposals for ‘city side’ development of land owned by the airport had been put up before the ministry for approval and a response is awaited to start work on the projects,’ airport director Ravi Prakash told HT Lucknow Live.
“To start with, we have already developed elaborate parking spaces for the vehicles at the airport and a lot many passenger facilities would be added up during the months to come,” he said.
He said the proposals made to the ministry for the city-side development of the airport could not be made public immediately as they were confidential in nature.
As regards revenue generation, the airport had already offered the contract for operation and maintenance of 250 luggage trolleys to a private party which also offers advertisement space on the trolleys. The airport is also allowing putting up of hoardings at appropriate places by private parties subject to fulfillment of the terms and conditions of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
The airport handles a little more than 700 domestic and international flights in a month including air charters and private jets. The priority for the airport remains to develop the proposed integrated passenger terminal for international passengers in the scheduled time period to handle the high traffic of Haj and Umrah pilgrims as well as regular passenger traffic to the gulf nations, airport sources said.
The airport is also aggressively trying to attract new domestic low cost carriers and also international carriers to generate revenue from parking for aircraft touching down at the airport.
Oman Air would be the first foreign carrier to be starting scheduled flights between Lucknow and Oman from May 1 this year—a month earlier than it promised.
The airport has already constructed a new technical block cum control tower.
The revenue model of the airport pays equal emphasis to generating capital from even non-aeronautical activities such as duty free shops, restaurants, parking fee for vehicles outside the airport and later from rentals from other commercial activity such as an ultra modern business centre and mini-malls which may be constructed on land in front of the terminal building, airport sources informed.