The price of working ‘ghost airports’ is growing
The price of operating 27 “ ghost ” airports throughout the nation fell from ₹ 36 crore in 2018-19 to ₹ 51 crore in 2019-20. These airports have been constructed with the intention of bettering regional connectivity, however have remained inactive in recent times. Most of them are positioned in distant and unconnected areas equivalent to Donakonda in Andhra Pradesh, Deesa in Gujarat, Dhalbhumgarh in Jharkhand, Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh and Balurghatin in West Bengal.
Underneath the authority of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), these airports haven’t operated a single flight to date. Though the IAA tried to launch operations by means of applications and incentives, they didn’t take off. In line with trade gamers, there’s a lack of coordination between the Middle and state governments.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, whereas responding to a query raised not too long ago in Lok Sabha, mentioned: “The Cupboard Committee on Financial Affairs has accredited the airport revival proposal / airstrips / helipads / airfields the IAA, state governments, public sector firms and civilian enclaves at an estimated price of ₹ 4,500 crore.
However within the context of the unfold of the covid-19 pandemic, the revival of those airports has taken its toll. World home air visitors fell from 10.8 crore of passengers in April to December 2019 to simply 3 crore between April and December 2020. Trade specialists level out that there isn’t a demand for air transport at these airports. .
“Airport enlargement beneath this program is ‘demand pushed’, based mostly on the agency dedication of airline operators in addition to the state authorities to supply numerous concessions,” Puri added.
To broaden the attain and utility of small airports, the ministry additionally launched the RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) Udan (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) in October 2016 to spice up regional air connectivity and make air journey reasonably priced for the plenty. .
Nevertheless, RCS Udan can be a market pushed program. airways, on the premise of their evaluation of demand on explicit routes, submit their proposals now and again when tendering beneath RCS Udan. Since its creation, 56 RCS Udan airports, together with 5 helipads and two aquatic aerodromes, have been put into service for the operation of RCS flights.