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New civil aviation policy may be out in April: Minister

Ashok Gajapathi

Machilipatnam: Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today said new National Civil Aviation Policy is likely to be out next month.

“At present, we are working on the policy which is likely to be out next month. We have received many suggestions on the draft policy and we are hopeful that new policy will be out in April,” Raju said.

He was speaking to reporters after addressing a private function here.

The minister said the country needs four modern airports, two on West coast and as many on East coast.

“At present, we have only three modern airports that have parallel runways at Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad and the fourth one is coming up in Vishakhapatnam. With the size of a country like India we need more modern airports, at least two on the West coast and two on the East coast,” Raju said.

Raju said his ministry would consider proposals for new airports if governments concerned come forward to provide land to set up such facilities as land is the State subject.

To a query, Raju said the work to expand runway of Rajahmundry airport is in progress and it will be completed within a few months.

He said the Gannavaram Airport near Vijayawada will be developed as an international airport. “The state government was allotted 700 acres of land for the development of the airport,” the minister added.

On the demand by the Andhra Pradesh government to grant special status to the state, Raju said it was under consideration.

“This is a critical subject..Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Odisha are opposing (the demand). If Union government considers the special status demand for AP, chief ministers of other states will also demand the same”, the minister added.

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