Cabinet to take up policy on new airports Friday

April 10th, 2008 - 8:43 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) A new policy to prevent greenfield airports within a 150 km radius of existing ones is scheduled to be taken up during a meeting of the union cabinet here Friday, officials said. “This will be a comprehensive policy document running into nine pages which will, as a matter of policy, prohibit new greenfield airports within 150 km of the ones that already exist,” a senior official in the aviation ministry said Thursday.

“Only under exceptional cases will new airport projects be allowed within 150 km of existing ones. This will be on a case-by-case basis and only when recommended by a high-powered committee proposed for the same,” the official added.

The new policy has been necessitated by the recent strikes by the employees of the existing airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad. They protested the closure of the two airports to make way for the two greenfield projects nearby.

The new policy may also influence any decision on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s request for an early clearance for the proposed airport hub at Jewar, which is within 150 km of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the national capital.

Called the Taj International Airport and Aviation Hub, the $1.25 billion project is proposed by infrastructure major GMR on an area of 1,000 hectares in Gautam Buddha Nagar, some 70 km from Delhi airport.

Officials said the new policy will make room for interested parties, including the state governments, to make their recommendations in case some new airport projects within 150 km of existing ones are pending approvals.

“The views of the civil aviation ministry, the ministry of environment and forests and the urban development ministry will also be considered in such cases,” said the aviation ministry official.

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