20 airports ready for regional flights

    Regional Flights
    As the Centre finalises the contours for the ambitious 'Regional Air Connectivity' scheme, the Airports Authority of India said as many as 20 un-utilised airports were ready to start operations for regional flights. Another 30 airports can be made ready for operations under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) by making "some investments", AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said.

    Under the scheme, announced in the new civil aviation policy, the ministry has proposed capping fares at Rs. 2,500 for one-hour flights on un-served and under-served routes besides various financial concessions for airlines. RCS refers to operation of an air transport service between any two airports, of which at least one has been declared by the Central government as un-served or under-served, according to the draft rules. There are 394 un-served and 16 under-served airports in the country. Under-served aerodromes are those which have less than seven flights a week. Under the new civil aviation policy, the Airports Authority of India would be the nodal agency for implementation of RCS.

    Mohapatra said cost of setting up an airport depends on the size. "Today the construction cost is about Rs 1,00,000-1,10,000 per sq metre of the terminal building," he said.
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