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AAI told to create blueprint for budget airports

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Good news for travelers in India.

Specially for travelers paying hefty user charges to fly in and out of airports like those in New Delhi or Mumbai. According to the sources, Aviation secretary Ashok Lavasa has directed Airports Authority of India (AAI) to create a blueprint for next-gen low-cost airports. He has asked authority for doubling its non-aeronautical revenue in a year.

Lavasa, who is known for his environmental concerns, has asked AAI to keep the air conditioning and security area to the barest minimum in its blueprint for budget airports as these two items account for a lion’s share in an airport’s overall expenses. ‘The steel-and-glass structure for airports copied mindlessly from the cooler west for airports in India has led to AC power bills shooting up like crazy. That’s a mistake that cannot be replicated at budget airports or they would not turn out to be low-cost models,’ said an official.

“Next round of growth has to come from regional connectivity by linking small towns. Airports there should be such that are able to offer low costs to both airlines and flyers, and help spur growth. Once traffic grows then more elaborate facilities can be provided. But to begin with, India absolutely needs inexpensive airports,” said an official.

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