In-Principle Approval Given To 21 Greenfield Airports By Centre, 12 Operationalised: Civil Aviation Ministry


The central government has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up of 21 new greenfield airports, out of which, 12 greenfield airports have been operationalised, the Lok Sabha was told.

The government had formulated a Greenfield Airports (GFA) Policy, 2008 for development of greenfield airports in the country.

As per the policy, if any developer including the state government desires to develop an airport, they are required to identify a suitable site and get the pre-feasibility study conducted.

The developer has to then submit a proposal to the central government for ‘site clearance’ followed by ‘in-principle’ approval.

The expansion of airports, including the upgradation of infrastructure and facilities at airports, is a continuous process, which is undertaken by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) or the concerned airport operators depending upon operational requirements, traffic, demand, commercial feasibility etc.

AAI and other airport operators have embarked upon a capex plan for more than Rs 98,000 crore, including around Rs 25,000 crore by AAI during 2019-24 for development/upgradation/modernisation of various brownfield airports and developing greenfield airports to meet the growing demands.

AAI has undertaken development and expansion of many projects across the country.

The upgradation endeavors encompass several enhancements, ranging from the construction of terminal buildings and ATC tower-cum-technical blocks to the expansion of civil enclave, extension, strengthening, and re-carpeting of runways, as well as the creation of aprons, parking bays, and other associated infrastructure improvements.

Besides, in order to enhance the regional air connectivity from unserved and underserved airports in the country, Ministry of Civil Aviation launched Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik-regional connectivity scheme or the UDAN-RCS on 21 October 2016, making air travel affordable to the masses.

The upgradation of airports has to meet international standards specified by organisations such as International Civil Aviation Organisation, International Air Transport Association etc.

It is undertaken by AAI or the concerned airport operators taking into account various considerations, including the commercial aspect, traveler requirements, land situation and airline preferences.

Declaration of an airport as and international airport depends upon traffic potential, demand from airlines for operation of international flights and bilateral air services agreement.

It also includes provision of ground lighting facilities, instrument landing system, runway length, immigration, animal and plant quarantine services etc. At present, there are 30 international airports in the country.