Union civil aviation minister Ajit Singh today urged Uttar Pradesh to handover Meerut airstrip and an additional 427 acres to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for development.
AAI had proposed development of Partapur airport at Meerut, to provide better air connectivity in western parts of UP, which had already been assessed for up-gradation to cater civil schedule operations.
In this regard, AAI chairman had forwarded a master plan to the state government on April 26, 2012 seeking transfer of the airstrip and additional land free of cost and free from all encumbrances. Later, Singh also wrote letters to the state in May and October.
In his fresh letter to UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the union minister reiterated that normally states transferred land to AAI free of cost and impediments.
He maintained that airport development was a essential requirement for the overall economic growth. The union ministry has also cited instances of cooperation by the various states governments in similar matters.
Earlier, Singh had written similar letters regarding airstrips at Jhansi and Agra to boost tourism in Bundelkhand and Agra respectively.
Jhansi airport, which was under the control of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was handed over to erstwhile National Airports Authority (now AAI) in 1986.
“At the instance of the State Government, the airport was handed over for maintenance to UP Government. I understand that the State Government without the concurrence/coordìnation with AAI handed over the air field to Army in 1990,” a letter written by Singh to Yadav had read seeking reverting the Jhansi airstrip to AAI.