India Airports and Ports Development
The Government of India has allocated $83.2b for infrastructure creating new export opportunities in airports and ports development.
The Union Budget of India 2021-2022 (Union Budget) includes plans to monetize airports in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India. These cities have seen significant growth in air travel. During the 2020 pandemic, passenger volumes exceeded pre-2020 figures, with more travelers choosing short-haul flights versus longer bus and rail options. Development of Tier 2 and Tier 3 airports will help meet growing demand by accelerating infrastructure development in underserved areas and strengthening regional air connectivity.
Development of these new airports, as well as retrofitting and renovating existing airports, falls under the purview of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), a nodal authority under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. AAI is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining, and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. It owns approximately 125 airports and is one of the largest airport operators in the world. India’s current airport infrastructure consists of 450 airstrips across the country, although only 100 are considered fully operational. By 2024, India has ambitions to add 100 new airports. Projects have been announced in locations such as Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Raipur, and Trichy. Though, AAI owns and operates the majority of airports in India, through ongoing privatization efforts, companies such as Adani, GMR, and GVK have also secured airport projects.
Major ports and inland waterways owned and managed by state governments, will shift to a private management model. Seven major ports will transfer their operations to a Public Private Partnership model in FY21– 2022. This will constitute a budget expenditure of approximately US$300 million.
Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI) is targeting 140 million tons per year to transit the national waterways (NW) network by 2030. Under the Public-Private partnership modal, IWAI plans to develop and modernize 5,000km of Inland Waterways network coverage, and integrate this network more fully into coastal shipping and other transportation infrastructure. IWAI is focused on cargo shipping as a major area of growth to drive development of the waterways.