Unprecedented growth in air traffic, says Patel

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New Delhi, Mar 4 (UNI) Unprecedented growth in air traffic in the past three years has raised challenges for airport infrastructure and airspace management, particularly at the busy airports of New Delhi and Mumbai, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel admitted today.

The Minister in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, outlined the steps being taken to get around the problem. ''The infrastructure at airports is being upgraded by strengthening and extending runways, apron for more parking of aircraft, parallel taxi track and rapid exit taxi tracks to improve upon runway occupancy,'' he said.

The capacities of terminal buildings were also being expanded by construction of new terminal buildings with modular design and modifying or expanding existing terminals, he said.

The growth was reflected in the figures for the past few years from 18 and 24 per cent rise in international and domestic passengers respectively in 2004-05 to 16.8 and 29.6 per cent in 2005-06 and 15.9 and 42 per cent in 2006-07.

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