India plans to open 100 Airports by 2024; will invest ₹1 Lakh Crore

Airports, Airports in India, Udaan Scheme, 100 new airports, 100 Smart city, BJP, Jumla, Lok Sabha elections, Modi government, Narendra Modi, PM Modi, Udan scheme, Indian Infrastructure

India plans to open 100 more airports by 2024 for ₹1 lakh crore, Bloomberg reports, citing unidentified sources. The move is part of a proposal to introduce 1,000 new routes connecting smaller towns – and build out the requisite infrastructure. More airports would mean more jobs: NITI Aayog has proposed boosting the number of locally trained pilots to 600 a year. Three years ago, only 75 of India’s 450 runways were functional but the UDAN scheme – which partly funds airline losses and caps prices on remote routes – helped bring 38 new airports on stream at the start of the year.

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On the surface it may look so good but the realty is disastrous! India currently has around 134+ operational scheduled civil airports (excluding around 500+ airforce / military bases/strips, civil conclaves, flying schools strips). The problem is, except, just a few airports, all are commercially not viable. Leaving aside commercial viability, more than 3/4th of the airports has just a single digit connectivity a day that too after air india is forced to operate on that route. Strategic connectivity is important but equally important is having enough passengers to fill up the plane.

The NITI Aayog recent proposal was formally negotiated during an infrastructure review meeting held in the middle of October, 2019. The government’s policy think-tank also proposed increasing the strength of locally trained pilots to 600 and doubling domestic aircraft fleet to 1,200 by 2024, the paper quoted sources as saying. After announcing its drone policy in January, the government will also look at completing drone corridors by 2021, followed by allowing drone deliveries by 2023, the source added.

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Airport Retail itself evolved as an independent industry over the years. The surge of traffic in airports made it possible. As per a research by Global Data, the Airport Retail is going to attain a $50 Billion value by 2021. Today Singapore airport boasts to have more than 300 retail stores inside.

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100 airports, 1000 new routes and an investment of 1 trillion rupees in order to achieve a $5 trillion economy by 2025. The suffering economy is not bursting India’s ambitious balloon. Will be a great opportunity for airport experience and professionals

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