New aviation policy to boost aviation infrastructure: Patel

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) The government will notify a new civil aviation policy by first quarter of 2008 to facilitate creation of small and mega airports across the country, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said today.

The policy will also develop a mechanism to facilitate multi-model merchant airports, he said while addressing a conference titled Aerotropolis: Airport Cities.

An aerotropolis is a new type of urban form comprising aviation-intensive businesses and related enterprises extending up to 25 km outward from major airports. It is similar in form and function to a traditional metropolis which contains a central city core and its commuter-linked suburbs.

An aerotropolis has an airport city at its core and is surrounded by clusters of aviation-related enterprises.

But in India, only 80 airports are operational at present. The number will go up to 100 by next year-end, said Mr Patel.

''We should have at least 500 airports for equitable economic growth. No Indian should be 50 km away from an airport.'' Many state governments are keen to expand airstrips with joint venture partners for merchant (private) airports, he said.

Meanwhile, ASSOCHAM president Venugopal Dhoot also announced the entry of Videocon group into civil aviation sector. He said the group will float a special purpose vehicle and diversify in airports.

UNI

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