Eight airports would be set up in 2013 in tier II and tier III towns across the country by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in partnership with private sector and the state governments, reports indicate.
These eight projects are part of the government's plan to set up nearly 50 airports in tier II and tier III towns across the country in the coming years.
Industry watchers welcomed the move by the government to set up airports in small towns across the country.
Aviation sector in India is the ninth largest in the world at present and every year nearly 12 crore passengers are using domestic services and 4 crore are using international flight services.
It is expected that by 2020, India aviation industry is expected to become the third largest in the world. It is estimated that investment required for setting up airports in small towns is around Rs 2 crore.
New employment opportunities will be created in handling, retail, catering sectors. Presently, AAI is a managing 125 airports. The network of AAI will increase with the new airports.
In Andhra Pradesh, new small airports will come up in Nellore, Kurnool, Cuddapah, Nizamabad, Anatapur and Karimnagar. Andhra Pradesh already has small airports in Vijayawada and Karimnagar and these may be developed by AAI, reports indicate.