Low air traffic has taken its toll on the financial health of airports in Gujarat. Out of total 96 loss-making airports, Gujarat tops the list of states with nine such airports.Their annual losses range from Rs 2 crore to Rs 26 crore.
The data available with the Union ministry of civil aviation shows that airports in Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Bhuj, Porbandar, Kandla and Keshod are loss-making. Among these, airports in Kandla and Keshod do not have even a single scheduled flight operation, reports The Times of India.
Gujarat is followed by Rajasthan and Assam with seven loss-making airports each.
“Low air traffic movements resulting in lesser revenues coupled with lower non-aeronautical income from parking and shops at the airports has hurt the financials of these airport,” said senior officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI), which handles these nine airports.
In 2014-15, Vadodara airport registered highest loss with Rs 26.68 crore followed by Surat and Rajkot with incurred losses of Rs 26.05 crore and Rs 13.73 crore respectively. “Besides lack of flight connectivity, the airports are going through losses as there is sufficient road connectivity in the state and availability of other means of transportation,” AAI officials added.
For Surat, the major issue is of connectivity. Only Air India operates flights to Delhi and Mumbai from Surat. After the incident of the buffalo on the runway of Surat airport in 2014, no private airline has started operations at Surat.