The Gujarat government, on 06 Dec, signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to develop 11 new greenfield airports and expand nine existing ones.
As per the MoU, Ankleshwar, Morbi, Rajpipla, Botad, Dwarka, Dhordo, Rajula, Dahod, Ambaji, Dholavira and Palitana have been identified for developing greenfield airports, stated an official statement from the State government.
Further, the state government will also explore possibilities of three additional greenfield airports at Vadnagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown; Siddhpur, which is considered the Kashi of Gujarat and is the constituency of Gujarat Civil Aviation minister Balvantsinh Rajput; and Kevadia, which is home to the Statue of Unity.
These new greenfield airports will connect not only some of the cities but also tourist spots like Dhordo and Dholavira, as well as pilgrimage centers like Dwarka, Ambaji, and Palitana.
In addition to the eleven greenfield airport planned for development, the state government will also go for brownfield development of nine airports. These include three state government’s airstrips at Mehsana, Amrelli, and Mandvi and six other airports, managed by AAI, namely, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Kandla, Vadodara, Keshod, and Surat.
Under the agreement, Gujarat government will provide the necessary land and other utility services like electricity and water needed for the airports. The Airports Authority of India, on its part, will carry out operations and expansion of greenfield and brownfield airport development in the state, as well as operations and maintenance, master planning and designing of the airport.
The state government and AAI will proceed on these projects only after examining the technical feasibility and land availability for these projects, a statement said. A coordination committee comprising ten members, under the chairpersonship of AAI, will be established to oversee the projects.
Gujarat currently boasts 11 operational airports, including those in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Kandla, Bhuj, Porbandar, Keshod, and Mundra. The state government, in a joint venture with AAI, is also developing an international airport in Dholera, 80 Km from Ahmedabad. Additionally, the state has two sea-plane terminals—one at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad and another at Kevadia.
The latest MoU is expected to spruce up civil aviation infrastructure in Gujarat, thereby giving a boost to tourism, regional connectivity, trade and commerce and job creation.