India will build 50 new airports in the next three years as part of its plan to boost regional connectivity, said civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in an interaction with reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Of the 50 new airports the government plans to make operational across the country over the next three years, at least 10 would be ready by next year, Raju said on Tuesday.
"We are trying to ensure at least 10 new airports will be ready in a year for regular operations," Mr Raju told reporters in Mumbai at an event, but did not name them.
Noting that regional connectivity model would be based on the viability gap funding for three years, he said the state governments would bear 80 per cent of the project cost, while the balance will be borne by the central government.
"The new civil aviation policy is meant to take flying to masses," Mr Raju said after the Maharashtra government signed an agreement with his ministry and the state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) to develop 10 airports across the state.
Air strips at Amravati, Gondia, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Nanded, Nashik, Ratnagiri, Shirdi, Sindhudurg and Solapur will be developed into low-frill airports under the regional connectivity scheme for short-haul intra-state and inter-state flights.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the new aviation policy was dynamic as it would hasten the process of aerial regional connectivity in the state and country.