In the last eight years, the number of airports in the country has increased from 74 to 141, and as per the Ministry of Civil Aviation, this will grow up to 220 in the next four to five years.
The country is likely to add nearly 80 airports in the next four to five years, the aviation regulator has said, adding that aerodromes meanwhile need to fulfil certain requirements to start the operation of flights.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has given ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up of 21 greenfield airports across the country, including Mopa in Goa; Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra; Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan and Shivamogga in Karnataka; Dabra in Madhya Pradesh; Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh; Dholera and Hirasar (Rajkot) in Gujarat; Karaikal in Puducherry; Dagadarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh; Durgapur in West Bengal; Pakyong in Sikkim; Kannur in Kerala; and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.
So far, eight greenfield airports — namely Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Orvakal and Kushinagar — have been operationalised.
As per the Aviation Ministry, in the financial year 2022-23, the Centre has granted site clearance to the Himachal Pradesh government for development of a new greenfield airport at Nagchala, Mandi. Besides, 35 airports, helipads and water aerodromes are targeted for development during FY 2022-23 under RCS-UDAN.