Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the present central government is the first since independence that has formulated a National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) for providing air connectivity to smaller cities.
Prime Minister Modi talked about the NCAP at a foundation stone laying ceremony held here for development of a new airport.
According to state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI), Modi who addressed a gathering at the ceremony, highlighted the importance that an airport plays in achieving development goals of a region and a state.
"He (Modi) also brought to light the fact that for the new greenfield airport coming up between Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, 96 per cent of the land used was barren land of government of Gujarat," the AAI statement said.
The Gujarat government had proposed a greenfield airport at Hirasar, Rajkot as the existing airport faces capacity constrains with no further scope for expansion.
The initial development phase cost of the new airport has been pegged at Rs 1,405 crore.
Commenting on the new airport project being handled by AAI, Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said: "Since the existing airport has no scope of further expansion and is not positioned well to meet the potential traffic demand, the new airport being constructed by AAI will surely meet the futuristic demands of Rajkot and will further add to the infrastructural development of this expanding city."
The existing Rajkot airport currently witnesses around 100 movements per week and handled over 4 lakh passengers during 2016-17.