Sujay Mehdudia

‘Review the 150 km clause of Airport Infrastructure Policy of 1997’

‘Benefits of new airport would include opening up of landlocked North’

NEW DELHI: The Member of Parliament from Rohtak, Deepender Singh Hooda, on Wednesday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in seeking the necessary permission and clearance for setting up a greenfield airport-cum-cargo air complex in the National Capital Region.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the Haryana Chief Minister’s son said the Haryana Government had already put forward a proposal seeking permission for construction of a new airport catering to low-cost passenger services, air cargo, private operators, helicopter services and aircraft maintenance services at a site in Jhajjar district of Haryana. The site is located near the intersection of National Highway No.10 and the Kundli Manesar Palwal Expressway.

He said financing based on a Built Own and Operate (BOO) model had been proposed and no direct budgetary allocations had been sought from the Union Government. He also urged Dr. Singh to direct the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to speed up the proposal and conduct an immediate review of the 150 km clause of the Airport Infrastructure Policy of 1997.

“I regret to state that unfortunately the proposal has not made any headway on the grounds that the Airport Infrastructure Policy of 1997 disallows setting up of a new airport within an aerial radius of 150 km of an existing airport. This clause is completely out of sync with the ground realities,” he added.

Explaining the need for such an airport, Mr. Hooda said the aviation industry in India is one of the fastest growing in the world. However, the current growth is being curtailed by multiple factors, the most important being that of constraining infrastructure. The prestigious Indira Gandhi International Airport has been bursting at the seams for more than a decade. The benefits of a new airport would include opening up of the landlocked North, creation of direct and indirect employment opportunities, relieving excess air traffic load off the Indira Gandhi International Airport, providing multi-modal transportation facilities to the upcoming Special Economic Zones and enabling a much needed logistical link for farmers and agro export markets, he added.