Govt to auction 6 more airports, open up airspace for commercial use

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Six more airports will be auctioned on public-private partnership (PPP) basis to provide better facilities and improve customer experience, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.

The bidding process will begin soon. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will get a down payment of Rs 2,3000 crore.

“An additional investment worth Rs 13,000 crore is expected by private players in 12 airports,” she said while addressing a press conference here along with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur.

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Besides, the restriction on utilisation of Indian airspace will be eased so that flying becomes more efficient. Only 60 per cent of the airspace is currently freely available.

“The optimal utilisation of airspace, prediction in fuel use and time will have a positive environmental impact,” said Sitharaman. “It will bring a benefit of about Rs 1,000 crore per year for the aviation sector.”

The Finance Minister said the tax structure is being altered to make the country a hub for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

This will encourage global engine manufacturers to set up engine repair facilities in the country. Maintenance costs will come down and there will be convergence between defence sector and civil aviation. (ANI)

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