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NEXTGEN AIRPORTS FOR BHARAT TO BOOST AIRPORT CAPACITY

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NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The government, in the Budget 2018, announced a scheme to expand airport capacity more than five times to handle a billion trips a year under a new scheme called NextGen Airports for Bharat (NABH) Nirman.

This scheme constitutes investments to be made in airport upgrade by both the private sector and the state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) in the due course of time.

“We propose to expand our airport capacity more than five times to handle a billion trips a year under a new initiative – NABH Nirman,” Finance minister Arun Jaitley announced in the Budget speech.

The scheme, first reported in November 2017, is to establish about 100 airports in 15 years at an estimated investment of Rs 4 lakh crore – a large percentage of the investment is to come from the private sector.

When contacted, AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said that increased infrastructure spend in the airport sector is the need of the hour and a substantial funding is expected from the private sector.

“With the growth in aviation, there is a need to add airport infrastructure. We already have plans to double our outlay on airport infrastructure to RS 4,100 crore for 2019 fiscal. In addition, we have plans to invest Rs 25,000 crore in airport infrastructure over a period of next three to four years,” Mohapatra.

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