Fifteen airports built by the Airports Authority of India ( AAI) at a cost of Rs 438.4 crore are yet to receive their first scheduled commercial flight in a decade.
The state-run authority spent the above mentioned figure in the past 10 years. The costliest of them has come up at Maharashtra’s Gondia, former aviation minister Praful Patel’s home city, and it alone cost Rs 207.6 crore.
Airports at Jaisalmer and Shimla, built at Rs 44.5 crore and Rs 39.1 crore respectively, have also been waiting for regular passenger flights for a decade.
Union aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju gave this information in a reply to an MP’s query.
“Airlines are free to operate anywhere in the country subject to compliance of … guidelines…. It is, however, up to airlines to provide air services to specific places depending upon traffic demand, commercial viability and their company policy. The government does not determine route/schedule of airlines, including Air India,” he said in awritten reply.