August 22, 2016
The next three years will see the building of about 50 airports across the country to improve regional connectivity, said Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in Trichy.
“A total of 32 airports in the country, including the one at Salem in Tamil Nadu, remain unused. The Centre is trying to put all these non-performing assets (NPAs) into effective utilisation rather than investing afresh. Each airport will require at least `100 crore for construction,” the minister told the media, while on a two-day tour of the central region.
Raju said he has personally written to all the chief ministers to decrease the value added tax on the aviation turbine fuel in order to provide an encouraging environment for the airlines.
When asked about the Tiruchy airport and its domestic connectivity, the minister said that the airport here levies 29 per cent tax, which affects the profitability of airlines.
Speaking on the Gulf connectivity, Raju said several seats added through the bilateral agreements remain under-utilised. He said such seats should be put to use effectively.