"The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has 124 airports, we propose to expand airport capacity to 1 billion trips a year. With this step, Hawai Chappal wearing citizens will be able to take the Hawai Jahaaz,"Mr Jaitley said, using the rubber flip-flops worn by millions across the country as a metaphor for the masses.
He said the government's regional air connectivity scheme "Udan" or 'Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik', would connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads.
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used the same phrase while launching the Regional Connectivity Scheme, which he said would boost air travel between smaller cities and make flights far more affordable.
The Finance Minister said in the last three years, the number of domestic air passengers grew at 18 per cent a year and airline companies placed orders for more than 900 aircraft.
"Infrastructure is the growth driver of the economy. Our country needs massive investments, estimated to be in excess of Rs 50 lakh crore, in infrastructure to increase growth of GDP, connect and integrate the nation with a network of roads, airports, railways, ports and inland waterways and to provide good quality services to our people," Mr Jaitley said.
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