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India targets 500 airports by 2020

In Friday’s edition of Airport Business Daily, we reviewed China’s ambitious plans to develop 43 new airports by the end of 2010, for a total of 190, increasing to 244 by 2020. See the full China report here.

India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has even more aggressive plans, with an aim of 500 operational airports by 2020, including the redevelopment of currently unused airports and development of greenfield airports and so-called ‘merchant’ (dedicated cargo/logistics) airports.

India currently has 448 airports, including small landing strips, although only 80 airports in the country currently handle scheduled services (up from 60 at Mar-06). Of these airports, 136 belong to Defence, 156 to state governments and 63 to the private sector.

The remainder of this special 1,000 word report, looking into the prospects for private participation in India's airport sector, will be published in the upcoming Feb-08 edition of the Monthly Essential India.