Monday, June 11, 2007

AAI not to take up greenfield airport in Chennai: Patel

Mumbai, June 11: Minister for civil aviation Praful Patel today ruled out the possibility of a greenfield airport in Chennai being taken up by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The civil aviation ministry has already received a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly which says the AAI should modernise the existing airport and also build a greenfield one near the city. The new airport is to be built across 5,000 acres near Sriperumbudur at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

''There is no possibility of AAI handling the greenfield airport,'' said Mr Patel while addressing delegates at third annual investors' summit organised by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Sensing that it will get Chennai and Kolkata airports, the AAI has already begun groundwork by inviting global design bids so that work can begin as soon as all clearances come.

At the existing airport in Chennai, the immediate task is to provide new domestic and international terminal. This work will be done in phases and at a cost of about Rs 2,000 crore.

Mr Patel also said that joint ventures for non-aeronautical activities at 35 non-metro airports will take off in a year. The concept of merchant airports will be cornerstone of the Vision 2020 document to be unveiled soon, he said.
--- UNI


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