Scindia writes to Bommai about aviation infra projects

Scindia writes to Bommai seeking help to speed up aviation infrastructure projects in Karnataka

Scindia said the AAI has projected a land requirement of 370 acres at Belagavi airport, out of which only 348.6 acres have been handed over

BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. Credit: PTI Photo

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has written to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai seeking the latter's personal intervention in expediting projects for strengthening aviation infrastructure in the state.

In his letter, Scindia has highlighted that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has initiated development and expansion of airports in the country at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore in the next four to five years in order to meet the growing passenger demand in the country.

Scindia told the Chief Minister about the projects being carried out by AAI in Karnataka and sought his intervention in clearing the land requirement.

Scindia said the AAI has projected a land requirement of 370 acres at Belagavi airport, out of which only 348.6 acres have been handed over.

Similarly, the Minister said in his letter that the AAI has requisitioned for allocation of 240 acres at Mysuru airport but the land is yet to be handed over by the state government.

He also asked Bommai to take necessary steps to operationalise Shivamogga and Vijayapura airports so that the bids received under the Udan scheme could be considered.

The state government should also communicate its consent for 100% Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support for the routes to be awarded from these two airports as these are part of the State Regional Connectivity Scheme (SCRS).

At present, Rs 7.55 crore is outstanding on the part of the state government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

Earlier, Scindia had also written to Karnataka and 21 other governments urging them to rationalise VAT on ATF across all airports in states within the range of 1% to 4%. He has asked them to take forward common intention to boost air travel and connectivity in the state with a view to accelerate its economic development.

Citing examples of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Telangana, Scindia said these states have brought down the VAT to 1% and even below. As a result, he said, they have seen a substantial jump in the number of aircraft movements in their states.

For example, he said Kerala has brought down VAT on ATF from 25% to 1% and subsequently, the number of aircraft movements at Thiruvananthapuram airport increased from 21,516 flights to 23,566 flights in a span of six months. Similarly, he said, aircraft movements at Hyderabad saw a rise from 76,954 flights to 86,842 flights in a span of six months. 

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