NEW DELHI: Stressing on the importance of helipads in providing last-mile connectivity, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday urged the states to set up helipads in every district.
The Minister said that 82 helicopter corridors have been identified. He also talked about augmentation of flight training organisation capacity in the country and facilities for engine servicing.
He said the government recently abolished TNFC/RNFC charges in 21 states to encourage helicopter operations. The Minister brought attention to the three recent initiatives unveiled at the recent Heli-India Summit in Srinagar, namely Framing of Guidelines for Fractional Ownership, Project Sanjeevani for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services and Project AKASH.
On the issue of airports, the Minister said that in the next four years, about Rs 95,000 crore is likely to be invested by the Government and the private sector, which includes greenfield as well as brownfield airports. The Airports Authority of India is working on expansion of about 40 airports and setting up 3-4 new greenfield airports. Similarly, the private sector is also working on 60 brownfield and three greenfield airports. In the last 8 years, the number of airports has gone up from 74 to 141 (including helipads and waterdromes) and the number is likely to cross 200 in the next 4-5 years.
Speaking on drone technology, the Minister said that a new revolution has begun and India is leading the initiative in the sector. He said that a conducive policy for promoting drones is already in place; incentives have been announced through PLI, and use of drone services are being promoted in a large manner with 22 ministries concentrating on this.
Scindia expressed that the Government is ready to undertake an expansion of the civil aviation sector. He called upon the states to have greater participation and be constructive partners in the progress.
Speaking on the current scenario, the Minister said that the civil aviation sector has passed through difficult times and it is now ready for take-off to its true potential.
Calling India a towering phoenix, the Minister said that India today is one of the few countries operating seamlessly in a high demand-led environment. He said that this has been possible because during Covid times, the Government identified the drivers needed to give the boost to the sector and took proactive measures.