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Airport development to progress expeditiously, says Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to the continued development of airport infrastructure during her Interim Budget speech for the Fiscal year 2024-25 on Thursday. Sitharaman emphasised that efforts to enhance air connectivity in non-metro areas and facilitate international air trade would be sustained.

In her address, Sitharaman assured that the expansion of existing airports and the creation of new airports would progress expeditiously. She acknowledged the remarkable growth in the aviation sector over the past decade, highlighting that the number of airports in the country has doubled, reaching a total of 149.

Drawing attention to the success of the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme, a regional connectivity initiative launched by the government in October 2016, Sitharaman noted the widespread rollout of air connectivity to Tier-II and III cities. Under the UDAN scheme, 517 new routes have been established, catering to 1.3 crore passengers. The scheme aims to provide affordable air connectivity to regional and remote parts of the country, thereby fostering inclusive development.

The Finance Minister’s remarks indicate a concerted effort by the government to not only strengthen the aviation sector but also ensure that the benefits of air travel reach diverse regions, contributing to economic growth and accessibility across the country.

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