India to build 9 ‘greenfield’ airports and 41 old airports to be upgraded

Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2023

New Delhi, India—India will build nine new “greenfield” airports to meet the steep rise in domestic and international air passenger traffic, the Emirates news agency WAM reported.

WAM added at least 41 existing airports in India are being upgraded with state-of-the-art infrastructure and new facilities at a cost of rupees 980 billion (about US$12 billion).

The high capital expenditure plan for upgrading existing airports with heavy traffic is being undertaken primarily by the Airports Authority of India, Retired General V K Singh, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said in a written communication to the Parliament.

Under the Indian government’s Greenfield Airports Policy (GFAP), 21 new airports were sanctioned “in principle” some time ago, Singh said. “Out of these, 12 greenfield airports have been operationalized.”

According to the GFAP, “If any developer, including a state government, desires to develop an airport, they are required to identify a suitable site and get the pre-feasibility study conducted for the construction of the airport and submit a proposal to the central government for site clearance. This will be followed by in-principle approval.”

Kannur in Kerala state, which enjoys heavy traffic to and from the Gulf, is one of the 12 greenfield airports that have become functional under the GFAP. Calicut, also in Kerala with a high number of passengers and airlines from the GCC countries, is one of the airports being upgraded, the Minister said.