Prabhu lays foundation stone of 7 airport infra projects worth Rs 497 cr

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The airport infrastructure projects inaugurated by Prabhu on Friday were for Trivandrum, Calicut and Mangaluru.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu.

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday laid the foundation stone of infrastructure projects worth Rs 497 crore for seven airports across the country.

He also inaugurated airport infrastructure projects worth Rs 132.15 crore for three airports.

"We have started works in different parts of the country today, at the same time, in order to bring aviation sector ahead. Because, till the time all regions of the country are developed, we can not say that we have successfully fulfilled our responsibilities," the minister said.

The seven airports where the foundation stones were laid for infrastructure projects are Trivandrum, Mangaluru, Madurai, Rupsi, Jaipur, Amritsar and Imphal.

At Mangaluru airport, the terminal building will be expanded from existing 34,587 square metres to 45,930 square metres at a cost of Rs 133 crore and it will increase the peak hour handling capacity from 730 to 1,084 passengers, a statement by Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.

In Rupsi district of Assam, Rs 69 crore will be spent on "development and operationalisation of Rupsi airport", which will include construction of a terminal building having an area of 3250 square metres with peak hour handling capacity of 300 passengers, the AAI statement said.

The airport infrastructure projects inaugurated by Prabhu on Friday were for Trivandrum, Calicut and Mangaluru.

According to the AAI, a new international arrival block has been constructed at Calicut airport a cost of Rs 121 crore.

"We are trying to ensure that the aviation sector contributes to the economy too. To do that, we are taking several steps. We have launched a 2040 vision and have thought of all the points in it so that aviation sector can grow holistically," the Union civil aviation minister said here after laying the foundation and inaugurating all the projects.

"We are making an air cargo policy. In order to encourage companies to build aircraft in India, we are creating a roadmap. We are working to bring out regulations on drones... We are trying to find a way so that 100 new airports are built in the country with an investment of USD 65 billion. We are also working to increase safety and security in the aviation sector," Prabhu said.

"In order to provide more facilities to passengers, we have started Digiyatra and we will soon issue the passenger charter," he said.

Digiyatra refers to 'digital processing of passengers at the airports", an initiative of the civil aviation ministry which is being planned for all airports across the country in order to promote paperless and hassle-free travelling.