The government on Friday decided to set up 51 new low-cost airports with an aim to give boost to civil aviation sector and increase air connectivity to Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
The state-owned airport operator, Airports Authority of India (AAI), would set up the low-cost airports in 51 cities in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Apart from the low-cost airports, the government has decided grant new international airport status to Bhubaneswar and Imphal at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore.
Also, construction of eight greenfield airports this year would be awarded under public-private-participation (PPP) mode for Navi Mumbai, Juhu in Mumbai, Goa, Kannur, Rajguru Nagar Chakan at Pune, Sriperumbudur, Bellary and Raigarh, a statement from Prime Minister's Office said.
Also, the government was mulling operation and maintenance of airports at Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jaipur and Ahmedabad through PPP contracts.
In a bid to ramp up investor sentiment, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday set an investment target of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in PPP (public private partnership) projects across infrastructure sectors in civil aviation, rail, port and power in the next six months.
The decisions were taken at a meeting Prime Minister held here to finalise infrastructure projects for 2013-14 which was attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Ministers of Power, Coal, Railways, Roads, Shipping and Civil Aviation.