New Delhi: Giving a push to aviation infrastructure development, Government is planning to build 10-15 greenfield airports and modernising 50 others in the non-metro cities over the next few years.

"About 50 non-metro airports are being modernised within the next two years and overall 10-15 new greenfield airports are being planned," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the 49th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation of Asia-Pacific region in New Delhi.

Maintaining that the civil aviation sector in India was witnessing an annual growth of nine per cent, he said, "We expect a double digit growth in air traffic in the next few years."

Asked about the basis of his assessment, Singh said, "The huge middle class is growing, trade is growing and India should achieve at least six per cent GDP growth now. There may have been a temporary setback as we see a decline now, but air traffic is expected to grow substantially."

Earlier addressing the conference, he said the government had initiated a major process of modernising existing airports and developing greenfield ones "through a mixed strategy of public sector, private sector, joint ventures and public-private partnership (PPP)" to accommodate the growing air traffic.

While airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad had been built with private sector participation, "new airports are ready for commissioning in Chennai and Kolkata very soon," he said, adding that the government now permits up to 100 per cent FDI in greenfield airports.

(Agencies)

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