Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 01:33 AM IST

22 airports ready for regional operations, says AAI chairman

Updated: Sep 21, 2016 18:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept.21 (ANI): The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is mulling over connecting about 22 airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) in the first phase.

AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said he hopes to make airfares affordable to encourage flying among the masses.

He also said another 30 airports can be made ready for operations under the scheme by making "some investments".

"India, despite having very large and aspiration middle class, very less people travel by air. There are little more than 400 commercial aircrafts as compared to other countries that have 3tp 4k aircrafts. Approximately, in a country of 100 crore people only 8 crore people travel by air annually and it's a small number. So idea of government is to promote flying by masses in safe and affordable manner and it's the USP of our regional connectivity."said Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India

He also said the AAI would spend Rs 17,500 crore as capital expenditure over a period till 2019-20. The money would also be spent on building airport terminals and expanding runways at many existing airports.

"We are now going to spend 17,500 crore as capital expenditure project by year 2019-2020 out of which significant amount is for strengthening air navigation services (ANS) capabilities. We are recruiting more people and in this financial year we have al ready recruited 800 people so I don't think that there will be any problem in managing" said Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India

The AAI is also planning to build 50 no-frills airports across the country. (ANI)