Bangalore, Hyderabad airports to be ready by April 2008: AAI

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Coimbatore, Oct 15 (UNI) Airports Authority of India (AAI) Regional Executive Director K Ramalingam today said international airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad, being developed in public-private participation model, will be completed by April 2008.

Inaugurating the 15th national seminar on 'Aerospace Structures (NASAS)', jointly organised by Aeronautics Research and Development Board (ARDB) and Park College of Engineering and Technology (PCET) here, he said AAI was at present operating 15 international airports, 87 domestic airports and 25 civil enclaves (operating in Air Force airport) in the country.

As many as 14 scheduled operators and 46 non-scheduled operators were operating flights in 85 destinations across India.

During 2005-06, air-passenger rate was only 73.34 million and this year it was expected to cross 100 million, and South India was contributing 32 per cent of the total passenger revenue, he added.

Dr Ramalingam said the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Coporation and Helicopter Corporation would jointly start 'Tourism Helicopter' service between Coimbatore and Udhagamandalam, Madurai and Kodaikanal and Pondicherry and Tirupati soon.

By starting expansion programmes at Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Calicut airports, AAI was planning to spend Rs 210 crore in 2007 alone for this purpose, he added.

In addition to AAI taking care of three private airports, including Cochin international airport, Puthaparthy airport and Jindal airport at Belgaum, the Centre had taken initiative to construct 500 new merchant airports in the country, he pointed out.

Earlier, in a special address, Air Vice-Marshal B K Murali said Indian Air Force was looking for private partners to explore the growth and potential of defence aviation. Though IAF was operating large number of planes, some of them were over 20 years old.

He said this two-day seminar would help not only the Air Force, but also the private airlines to improve the aerospace structures.

He urged the scientists to do research on reducing noise pollution during flight operation. Mr Ramalingam added ''it was a good sign that the seminar was brought to college level, so that it would help those students who were studying Aeronautics''.

UNI

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