CMs to debate airport infrastructure in mid-December

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Chief ministers of various states will meet here in mid-December to discuss issues relating to land acquisition and aviation infrastructure.

The meet will be presided over by prime minister Manmohan Singh and civil aviation minister Praful Patel. The date is yet to be decided.

Despite a boom in air passenger traffic over the past few years, aviation infrastructure has not kept pace mainly due to outdated land acquisition laws which make expansion and modernisation of airports difficult.

''The states will also be asked to rationalise sales tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) which is the single largest component of an airline's operating expenses,'' said civil aviation secretary Ashok Chawla. Due to varying sales tax, ATF cost differs from state to state.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) will also ask states to give more slots at airports due to rising traffic, said Mr Chawla after hosting a meet of airline CEOs.

The secretary also asked airlines for their inputs on budget proposals. He said carriers are being pushed to set up a self-regulated mechanism for addressing passenger complaints.

The civil aviation ministry also wants airlines to operate more Red Eye (late night) flights to reduce pressure on airports during peak hours.


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