Accommodation Times News Services
By Murari Chaturvedi, Editor-in-Chief
The surge in air traffic has propelled the growth of Indian aviation industry. Many Greenfield projects for the new airports are currently in progress and many old airports are on the way to expansion mode.Currently there are 476 airports in the country. This includes operational and non-operational airports, airstrips owned by Airport Authority of India (AAI), defense, state government, and private parties. Government of India has granted approval for setting up 14 Greenfield airports in the country. The AAI manages a125 airports, which includes 11 international airports, 8 customs airports, 81 domestic airports and 25 civil enclaves at Defense airfields. AAI also provides Air Traffic Management services over entire Indian Air Space and adjoining oceanic areas with ground installations at all airports and 25 other locations to ensure safety of aircraft operations. All major air-routes over Indian landmass are radar covered with 29 radar installation at 11 locations. Presently, the various airlines are operating only through 90 airports. The remaining are lying unutilised or at best landing occasional aircraft operations. But this fastest growing air traffic country is lacking the ground infrastructural at and around the airports. India have 30 crore strong middle class population which translates to that even if one person flies just once and comes back, that amounts to 60 crore flights. The development and modernisation of airports is on fast track, but the related infrastructure is not keeping pace with it. Infrastructure around the airports are particularly be build and improved. Approach roads to the airports should be of international standards. Transportationto and from the airports in problematic. The new airports are far away from the city centres and there is no regular or proper public transport system resulting the air traveller are compelled to take taxies with inflated meters. Moreover there are cartels of taxi services to add the difficulties of the air traveller. The expansion and modernisation of airport projects depends upon many factors such as land acquisitions, availability of mandatory clearances, financial closure etc. by the individual operator. India is very potentially developing market for air travel and so it must be given the priority in clearing the hurdles in its path.