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AAI plans to revive 28 non-operational airstrips

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The Airports Authority of (AAI) plans to revive 28 out of the 40 in India for non-scheduled operations.

“We have a definite plan of reviving the unused airstrip. To begin with, we will put up a temporary structure and further investments will be made depending on the need and commercial viability,” said Chairman V P Aggarwal, on the sidelines of a Bloomberg-UTV airport conference.

Aggarwal said AAI may also look for private participation for these airports. The airports that would be handed over to private companies are in Rajasthan, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and north-east states.

AAI, which had spent Rs 3,534 crore during the and Rs 12,964 crore during the 11th Plan period, had proposed to increase the spends further during the 12th Plan period. “We have proposed to increase our investments during the 12 th plan period to Rs 15,000 crore,” said Aggarwal.

AAI on Friday said it would complete the modernisation of the Chennai and Kolkata airports by the end of this fiscal. “We have been given the task to (upgrade) 35 airports. Two major airports are being the Chennai and Kolkata airports. We will hopefully commission Chennai by December and Kolkata by March next year.”

AAI is upgrading 35 non-metro airports with an estimated investment of Rs 12,434 crore and is looking at various ways to raise money. The authority had not received permission from the finance ministry to raise Rs 5,000 crore through tax-free bonds.

The government-owned airport authority owns and manages 125 airports, of which only 85 are operational. Of these 85, only 13 are profit- making units. The authority plans to increase the number of profit-making airports to 25 by the end of the current financial year. AAI is also building three Greenfield airports in the state capitals of Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim.

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