In a major step towards augmentation of aviation infrastructure in the country, the Centre today approved a proposal to build new terminal buildings at the Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati airports at an estimated cost of over 5,000 crore.
The aviation sector in the country is currently growing at well over 20 per cent and touched 28 per cent in March, with 1.16 crore Indians making flight journeys during the month.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said the new terminal building approved for the Chennai airport at Rs 2,467 crore will have a capacity to handle 35 million passengers per annum and take care of the growth requirement till 2027.
Likewise, the new terminal building at Lucknow will have an annual capacity of 13.6 million passengers and will cater to the passenger growth requirements up to 2030-31. It will be built at a cost of Rs 1,232 crore and will be a major force multiplier towards UP's growth, the minister tweeted.
The new terminal building at Guwahati will be built at a cost of Rs 1,383 crore and will have a capacity to handle nine million passengers per annum.
"It (the new terminal) will give a major thrust to our Act East' policy and to tourism in NE India," Prabhu said.
"We remain committed to augmenting the airport capacity and facilities to match the 20 per cent passenger growth rate and for constantly improving your air-travel experience under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi", he said.
Last month, the aviation market grew close to 30 per cent.
Therefore, the need of the hour is to keep pace with growth and ensure better facilities in airports. If the airports do not grow as fast as the aviation sector is growing, there will be a big challenge at hand, Prabhu said.