Minister keeps up spree of laying airport foundation stones

February 26th, 2009 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Vadodara, Feb 26 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Thursday laid the foundation of a new terminal here, the seventh since Feb 20, after inaugurating the departure terminal at the Delhi airport earlier in the day.
After Vadodara airport, the minister will lay the foundation stone of the terminal building at Surat airport Friday, officials of the Airports Authority of India said.

The minister Feb 20 began his tour to launch the modernisation projects at five cities - Mumbai, Indore, Bhopal, Raipur and Ranchi.

This was followed by opening of new integrated terminals Feb 21 at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. He flew the same day to Goa to lay the foundation stone for the new integrated terminal.

On Feb 25, Patel inaugurated the new integrated terminal buildings at the Amritsar International Airport, Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and Jaipur International Airport.

Earlier this month, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi had inaugurated the new Srinagar International Airport.

All the airports where foundation stones have been laid for new integrated terminal buildings is part of the government’s ambitious project to upgrade 35 non-metro airports at a cost of Rs.105 billion (Rs.10,500 crore).

According to Patel the civil aviation sector would attract investments worth Rs.500 billion (Rs.50,000 crore) in the next 10 years and the number of airports will go up from 85 to 400 during this period.

The development of the non-metro airports by the Airports Authority of India involves building new terminal buildings and airside work that includes expansion and strengthening of runways and creating more parking space for aircraft, besides city-side development through public private partnerships.

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