Hyderabad: In an infrastructure boost for the UDAN scheme, the Centre plans to finish renovating 56 airports and 31 helipads in the next 18 months for them to meet the licensing requirements to ply flights under the UDAN scheme, a senior official said here on Wednesday.
“The finance minister, in his 2017 budget speech, had allocated Rs 4,500 crore for the renovation of the airports so that they meet the licensing requirements. Over the next year and half, we are hopeful that the we’ll be able to complete renovating 56 airports and 31 helipads for them to meet the requirements,” the ministry of civil aviation joint secretary Usha Padhee said
Ms Padhee, who was in Hyderabad for the BizAVIndia 2018 summit organised by industry body BAOA, added, “About 20 such airports have already been renovated and have been given the go ahead. The remaining will soon be finished.”
When asked about the changes these airports and helipad had gone through, she said, “Most of them are unserved or undeserved and required changes such as visibility clearance or needed an air traffic control building to get the requisite permissions.”
Ms Padhee added, “Considering the renovations, the budget allotted is sufficient. The surplus may be used to renovate additional airports and helipads.”
The UDAN RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme), a pet scheme of Narendra Modi, was launched in October 2016 as a major push to develop the regional aviation market.
In an unrelated development, a Parliamentary panel urged the civil aviation ministry to “actively pursue” efforts to get more funds. In the latest Budget, the ministry has been allocated Rs 6,602.86 crore, that includes Rs 4,469.50 crore towards purchase of two new aircraft for VVIP flights. Once that amount is deducted, then the allocation would be only Rs 2,133.36 crore, which is lower than the revised budget estimate of Rs 2,710.30 crore for the current fiscal (2017-18).
The issue of lower allocation for the ministry has been flagged by the Parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture.
Wings India 2018 all set for take off from Hyderabad
After successfully hosting several events in February, Hyderabad is gearing up for yet another event — International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation sector “Wings India 2018” organised by the civil aviation ministry and FICCI.
Earlier known as India Aviation, the biennial event, being held from March 8 to 11 at the Begumpet Airport, will be inaugurated by the civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati. With the theme ‘India - Global Aviation Hub’ the event will see representation from 10 countries including the US, Japan, Russia, Singapore, France, Germany UK and 125 exhibitors.
The event will move forward with a special focus on connecting the cities and towns thus increasing regional connectivity in the country. At the static display area, 15 aircrafts by Air India, Honda, Trujet, Gulfstream, Boeing and others and 12 Hospitality Chalets will be showcased.
It may be mentioned here that India is one of the fastest growing aviation market and currently the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world with a market size of around $16 billion. It is projected to be the third-largest aviation market by 2026 and the largest by 2030.
This conference will provide much needed fillip to the aviation as the restructured focused forums shall be instrumental in attaining the objective of connecting the buyers, sellers, investors and other stakeholders. It would provide the platform for interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players and stakeholders. The exhibition will be open for students, aviation institutes and general public on Saturday and Sunday.