Hyderabad: In an attempt to create better air connectivity for the people of the state, the state government is coming out with a State Civil Aviation Policy in August. This is also expected to fetch good amount of revenue to the government in the form of dividends payable for the equity it will provide for the project which will be in public-private partnership. The government plans at least six new airports in the state as part of the new policy.
“We have asked the Administrative Staff College of India to make a study and give a report to the government for drafting a specific civil aviation policy. The draft is ready and it will be placed before the cabinet at its next meetting. The policy will be in place within one month,” a senior official of the infrastructure and investment department told Express.
The government is trying to improve the air and port connectivity to the state to spur industrial growth. Karnataka is the only state to have come out with a civil aviation policy and Maharashtra and Gujarat are working out similar policies. “Once our civil aviation policy is ready, we will immediately call tenders for construction of six new airports in the state in public-private partnership. The government will allot land to entrepreners who will develop the airports. The public will get transportation and the government will get money,” an official said.
After the development of IT and other industries, the civil aviation sector has witnessed considerable growth and the domestic skies have been opened for private operators. “When I was working in districts a few years ago, the airfare between Vijayawada and Delhi was Rs 15,000. Now, the fare has come down to around Rs 4,000. Air travel has now become affordable,” an IAS officer said.
The state government will develop new airports in tier-two cities Nellore, Tadepalligudem, Kurnool, Ramagundam, Kothagudem and Nizamabad. Apart from passenger services, cargo services will also get a priority. Huge shopping complexes will be constructed at the new airports. The government also has plans to develop Vijayawada (Gannavaram) and Tirupati as international airports. The expansion of the Tirupati airport is already in process.