The Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman G P Mohapatra has told media persons that 22 airports will get connected under the regional connectivity scheme, under the first phase. ´In the first phase, there are 22 airports that are already in place and flights can start as and when airlines plan to,´ said Mohapatra, according to a report in the Economic Times. These airports include one in Andaman & Nicobar, three in Assam, and two each in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. As part of the plan, the government plans to connect these underserved airports to key airports through flights that will cost Rs.2,500 for per hour flight.
The government plans to provide subsidy to airlines to offer these fares. Mohapatra also said that AAI would invest Rs.17,500 crore in upgrading airport infrastructure over a period till 2019-20. ´The amount we will invest will be generated through internal accruals. We may require money at a later stage and may raise money from outside,´ he added. The money to be spent will be on upgrades in building airport terminals and expanding runways at many existing airports.