In a bid to boost regional air connectivity, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the revival of 50 unserved or underserved airports at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore over a period of three years starting FY-18. Separately, in a meeting, the union cabinet approved India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention), paving the way for faster movement of goods across borders. The proposal to revive smaller airports will help the government implement the regional connectivity scheme that aims to make common man fly by capping fares at Rs 2,500 hour of flight. In the first phase of the regional connectivity scheme, the government is going to start regional flight to around 43 airports across the country. About 15 airports airstrips each would be revived during 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. The third year -2019-20 will see revival of 20 airports airstrips, the government said in a statement. The Revival of airstrips airports will be ‘demand driven’, depending upon firm commitment from airline operators as well as from the State Governments for providing various concessions. Airports Authority of India will provide part of the funding and the central government will also pitch in through a budget grant.
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