International flights will be started from Madhya Pradesh’ cities
BHOPAL: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in an important
meeting with Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju regarding
expansion of air services in Madhya Pradesh, on Thursday urged for declaring
Indore and Bhopal airports as international and start national and
international flights from there.
Union Minister Raju said that Madhya Pradesh has
immense potential for expansion of aviation. Madhya Pradesh is the first state
to take initiative of calling and holding discussions with representatives of
various airlines. At the meeting, extensive discussions were held with
managements of national and international airlines for starting flights to
country and abroad from major cities of the state including Bhopal, Indore,
Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khajuraho etc.
The Chief Minister said that Madhya Pradesh has the
highest growth rate in the country. Agriculture growth rate is also the
highest. Now, focus of the state government is on industrial development.
Flight connectivity is vital for investors and development.
Number of airlines between major cities of the country
and Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Gwalior needs to be increased. He said that
international flight can be started from Bhopal and Sri Lanka in view of number
of pilgrims visiting famous Buddhist destination Sanchi. Sri Lankan President
has agreed to start this flight. Similarly, Air Arabia is willing to start
Indore to Sharjah flight.
Union Minister Raju said that the Union Ministry of
Civil Aviation will make use of this initiative of Madhya Pradesh Government.
Better response is also expected from airlines providers. Madhya Pradesh’s is
the first state government which has taken initiative for holding discussions
with various airlines. Other state governments will also follow suit. He said
that air services will also increase with growth of economy in future.
Industries Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia said that
the state has immense aviation potential. She urged various airlines to give
consent to start flights from Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur etc. before
Global Investors Summit next month.
Principal Secretary Aviation Iqbal Singh Bais gave
information about statues of Madhya Pradesh’s airports and their area-wise
expansion. The meeting was informed that Madhya Pradesh government has reduced
VAT on ATF from 28 per cent to 5 per cent to promote airlines to start new air
services in the state. About 900 acre land has been made available to Airport
Authority of India to develop Bhopal, Indore and Khajuraho airports as
international airports. The state government has constituted a special purpose
vehicle for construction of airport at industrial town Singrauli. Rs. 14 crore
has also been made available to Singrauli collector to acquire required land.
The meeting decided that Air India will re-start its
Bhopal-Delhi morning flight. Indigo will also decide soon to start commercial
flights from Bhopal.
The Union Minister was urged for air connectivity of
Indore with Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Bhopal with Hyderabad, Bengaluru,
Pune and Jaipur and Gwalior with Mumbai, Indore and Khajuraho. He was also
informed that Air Emirates has given consent to start cargo service from
Indore. For this, Central clearance is awaited. Union Minister Raju said that
Aviation Ministry is agreed to it. Clearance will have to be taken from
External Affairs Ministry. Chief Minister Chouhan said that all clearances will
The meeting also gave consent to launch Pawan Hans
helicopters to facilitate tourists at tourist destination, National Parks and
The meeting also expressed gratitude towards the
Central Government for the decision to identify Jabalpur, Rewa and Gwalior for
construction of low-cost airports.