Government of India has approved INR 4500 crore project to revive 50 unserved and under-served airports as well as airstrips.
With the plan, the government is looking to enhance air connectivity to small cities and towns while the revival of such airports and airstrips would be "demand driven".
The proposal was agreed to by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be INR 4,500 crore. 15 airports/airstrips each would be revived during 2017-18 and 2018-19 each while 20 airports/airstrips would be revived during 2019-20.
As many as 50 unserved and under-served airports and airstrips of state governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and civil enclaves would be under the project.
Small cities/towns will be connected on commencement of operation of flights to under-served/unserved airports.
It will moreover boost the economic development in these areas as well as surrounding areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure development.
Revival plan is demand driven. It would depend on firm commitment from airline operators as well as the state governments in terms of providing various concessions.
The unserved and under-served airports are to be developed without insisting on financial viability.
In the Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced plans for making adequate provisions for revival of unserved and under-served airports.
To make flying more affordable, the government has already unveiled the ambitious regional connectivity scheme UDAN ('Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik') under which fares are to be capped at INR 2,500 for one-hour flights.