Vastavam web: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu underlined the need for the Centre and state governments to work as Team India, which will result in the development of the states. Speaking at a function organised at Tirupati airport after laying foundation stone for the ‘extension and strengthening of runway work’ to be taken up with Rs177.01 crore, Venkaiah Naidu said that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has taken up the works as state government has procured the land needed for the purpose.
Kadapa airport has been developing well which witnessed 255 per cent growth in passenger traffic last year. Though the number of passengers is less, the growth was more, said the Vice-President. Similarly, Tirupati airport has witnessed a growth of 56.5 per cent in passengers while Rajamahendravaram registered 104 per cent growth. With the extension works, tourism sector will flourish which can see more employment opportunities, he observed.
“Connectivity was the basic factor for development. With more connectivity through road, rail, air and sea, traffic will increase giving the trade sector a boost. This will lead to economic development and that particular region will develop comprehensively,” he averred. He mentioned that International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected that Asia Pacific Region to be the driver of passenger growth with more than half of the new passengers are coming from these markets in the next 20 years which necessitates more investments in this sector to expand airports further. He praised Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu and former Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju for their efforts in developing the aviation sector in the country.
The number of trips by flights per year in the country were 250 million as they have doubled in the last 60 months and the government want to make them to a billion trips per year which can surpass China’s capacity. He added that they have made committed investments of Rs1 lakh crore to develop airports and in the next five years another Rs 3 lakh crore investments will be made.