The government of India has accorded an ‘in-principle approval’ for the setting up of 21 greenfield airports across the country. Ten such airports have been operationalized so far in the country, the latest being the Manohar International Airport in Goa, which was inaugurated on December 11 this year, said Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Lt Gen (Retd) VK Singh in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
Since 2018, seven airports, Pakyong (Sikkim), Kannur (Kerala), Kalaburagi (Karnataka), Sindhudurg (Maharashtra), Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh), Orvakal (Andhra Pradesh) and Donyi Polo (Arunachal Pradesh) airports have been operationalized apart from the inauguration of Manohar International Airport at MoPA, Goa.
The Airports Authority of India has incurred a cost of Rs 2504.38 crore in 2017-18, Rs. 4297.44 crore in 2018-19, Rs. 4713.49 crore in 2019-20, Rs. 4350 crore in 2020-21 and Rs. 3724.34 crores in 2021-22 for the construction of these airports.
During the pre-covid period, in the year 2018-19, the number of passenger footfall at airports across the country increased by 11.6 percent as compared to the previous year i.e. 2017-18. Passenger footfall decreased during the pandemic era. However, post-covid, in the year 2021-22 the trend shows an increase of 63.7 percent over the year 2020-21, wrote the Minister in his reply.