Varanasi: The government is taking pro-active measures to provide affordable air-connectivity to the remote and interior areas of the country, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said here on Sunday.
He was here to unveil the statue of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at Varanasi International Airport.
"The ministry is taking pro-active measures to provide affordable air-connectivity in tier two and three cities in remote and interior areas of the country," Singh said.
The air traffic has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the last decade with combined average growth rate being approximately 20 per cent, the minister said.
"With this in view, the civil aviation ministry endeavours to make the growth in the civil aviation sector in an equitable and inclusive manner," he said.
The ministry was in the process of formulating a policy for promotion of regional and remote area connectivity by evolving a workable model towards development of low cost airports which is expected to bring down the cost of air travel over a period of time, making it within the reach of a common man, Singh added.
He said that the ministry was in discussions with the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Haryana for handing over state owned non-operational airstrips to Airports Authority of India (AAI) for developing them for civil operation.
The minister said that the UP government has agreed to hand over airstrips at Meerut, Faizabad, Moradabad along with additional land to AAI and further to provide land for setting up new civil enclaves at defence airports at Allahabad, Agra, Bareilly and Kanpur.
The state government would provide the land for development of these airports and civil enclaves free of cost and free from all encumbrances to AAI for developing low cost Airports, Singh added.