New Delhi: The government proposes to construct 17 new airports, including Aranmula (Pathanamthitta) and Kannur airports, in the country in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) period.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal informed the Rajya Sabha that 17 airports had been proposed in the 12th Plan period between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2017.
The airports would be located at Mopa, Goa, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Hassan, Shimoga, Karnataka, Aranmula (Pathanamthitta) and Kannur in Kerala, Sindhudurg, Navi Mumbai and Shirdi in Maharashtra, Darba in Madhya Pradesh, Karaikal in Pudducherry, Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Andal-Faridpur in West Bengal, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Kishangarh (Ajmer) in Rajasthan and Deoghar in Jharkhand.
The government had earlier stated that it will look to connect more cities apart from metros with airport development.
"We need more connectivity to smaller cities. There is also the need to build low-cost airports at these places. This will surely encourage a growth in passenger traffic," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had told IANS in an exclusive interview last year.
"Tier-II and Tier-III cities are the ones that are showing rapid economic growth. These are the places where the aviation service must improve," Singh had said.
A FICCI-KPMG report, "India: The Emerging Aviation Hub", last year said the country has a potential of becoming a global aviation hub and the third largest aviation market in the world by 2020 if conducive policies to the growth of the civil aviation sector and focus on quality, cost and passenger interest are pursued.
It suggested that India be promoted as an industrial and tourism hub in order to derive synergistic benefits for the aviation industry.