India is expected to add around 80 airports in the next four to five years. However, before flights can start, airports must first fulfill certain conditions. The number of airports in the country has increased from 74 to 141 in the last eight years, and according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the number will increase to 220 in the next four to five years. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has already given approval to set up 21 greenfield airports in different parts of the country.
Airports have been approved in several cities including Mopa in Goa; Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra; Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan and Shivamogga in Karnataka; Dabra in Madhya Pradesh; Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh; Dholera and Hirasar (Rajkot) in Gujarat; Karaikal in Puducherry; Dagdarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh; Durgapur in West Bengal; Pakyong in Sikkim; Kannur in Kerala; and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.
So far, eight greenfield airports – Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Oravakal and Kushinagar – have been made operational.
According to the Ministry of Aviation, in the financial year 2022-23, the Center has given site approval to the Himachal Pradesh government for the development of a new greenfield airport at Nagchala, Mandi. In addition, 35 airports, helipads and water airports have been targeted for development during the financial year 2022-23 under RCS-UDAN.
An official said that for security purposes, as per DGCA CAR (Civil Aviation), an airport should have specifications regarding its management systems, operating procedures, physical characteristics, evaluation and treatment of obstacles, visual aid, rescue and fire services. needs to be completed. Demand).
While these guidelines are for licensing of airports from a technical point of view, the license to operate airports is granted by the Central Government as per the Civil Aviation Policy.
As far as the site clearance for a greenfield airport for public use is concerned, before starting the construction, the owner or developer of the greenfield airport has to file an application to the Steering Committee in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The request for issue of site approval and in-principle approval in respect of these airports will be processed by the concerned department in the Ministry as per the Greenfield Airport Policy.
Licenses for airports are granted in two categories, excluding the operation of scheduled flights for private use and public use, and for airport use for private use. For the public use category, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will provide site clearance and ‘in-principle’ approval for all proposals as per the Greenfield Airport Policy.
On the other hand, for private use category, site approval as well as ‘in principle’ approval will be granted by the regulator as per the technical evaluation of the site and based on airport usage.
As per the new guidelines, the DGCA said that the ‘in-principle’ approval given by the DGCA indicates that the proposed airport is essentially for non-commercial operation by the licensee and only by persons authorized by the licensee. Explaining the procedure for converting the use of airports, the guidelines state that this would require the approval of the government as per the extant policy.
IANS. with inputs of