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Telangana signs up for central scheme to boost air traffic, develop airports

HYDERABAD: Telangana on Wednesday joined the Centre’s regional air connectivity scheme to boost its air traffic and develop more airports. The Centre recently announced the scheme to encourage flying and linking of more cities by air under its new civil aviation policy.

The scheme provides incentives to airlines and airports, while capping fares on a limited number of seats at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights.
Industries minister K T Rama Rao represented the state government at the signing of the MoU with the Union civil aviation ministry. Union civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju congratulated the state for becoming a partner in the scheme.
Under the regional connectivity scheme, the Centre will bear 80% of the viability gap funding and the state the remaining 20%. The scheme, which provides viability gap funding for operators who cap fares on these flights at Rs 2,500, allows only one operator to fly on the route for three years.

The Centre has agreed to sanction all permissions required for Kothagudem airport in Khammam district. This airport will be developed as the second greenfield airport in the state after Shamshabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.

“My sincere thanks to the Union civil aviation ministry for sanctioning all permissions for Kothagudem airport, which will be developed under the new scheme. The state government has submitted proposals for the develop ment of new airports in the state and we expect a speedy decision from the Centre,” industries minister K T Rama Rao said.

The government has said it wants to revive Warangal airport, which was in operation till 1981 and Ramangundam airport that stopped operations in1995. Along with these, one airport at Jakranpally near Nizamabad, another at Adilabada and one at Nagarjuna Sagar were proposed by the Telangana government.

The state government also requested the Centre to hand over Begumpet airport, which was closed after the launch of the Shamshabad airport. “We have requested the Centre to hand Begumpet airport over to us so that we can set up a skill development centre as planned,” said Rao.
Source: TOI

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