Published in The Hindu Updated: September 17, 2014 03:23 IST
Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Tuesday that a new aviation policy would be brought out soon to develop infrastructure and attract investments.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 65 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of The Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), Hyderabad chapter, he warned that there was every chance of some unused airports becoming a liability to the government. “There are 125 airports in the country out of which 75 are in use. There needs to be a strategy regarding the rest of the airports. Otherwise, they will end up as non-performing assets.” He ruled out the possibility of bailing out private airlines that were incurring huge losses.
On the industry’s demand for a reduction in tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), he said Andhra Pradesh was among the few States that had responded positively to the Union government’s appeal to lower the tax on ATF.
“Along with A.P., Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab also want to reduce the ATF prices. We are pursuing the issue with other States as well. The States that see less aviation activity have responded to our request positively, whereas the States that witness heavy aviation activity are dragging their feet on this,” he remarked.