The government plans to double the number of airports in India over the next two-three years, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha has said. Doubling the number of airports will be done under UDAN (Uday Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme. Now, the country has 75 airports with scheduled services, the minister said at the event organized by the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI). Earlier this year, in a move to make flying more affordable, the government unveiled a draft UDAN scheme with an all inclusive fare of Rs. 2,500 for one-hour flights. The scheme was aimed at developing underdeveloped regional routes, Mr. Sinha said. Declaring that the government would raise about Rs. 400 crore to run the UDAN scheme, the minister said the government is asking airlines to bid for those routes that provide connectivity to other major airports. Passenger growth in India averaged around 10-11 per cent over the last 10 years. On expansion of airports, he said most airports in India face capacity issues. He added that the ministry is working towards upgrading Chennai to be a global airport. Also, he said that a new runway will be added in Delhi airport. Mr. Sinha also said that the government plans to develop regional hub airports providing connectivity to local towns and cities.
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