On Thursday UP government sought a fresh “technical evaluation” for the propsed international airport at Jewar in the state. Air passenger traffic has been rising rapidly and against the backdrop of this there have been discussions for setting up a second airport in the National Capital Region (NCR). The proposal for technical evaluation for Jewar airport has been made by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government which came to power last month. “The current BJP government (in Uttar Pradesh) has requested us for a technical evaluation because the previous technical evaluation for Jewar airport was done many years ago. So we are doing that,” MoS Aviation Jayant Sinha said. Here are five facts that you would like to know about the airport:
1) The Jewar International Airport project in Gautam Budh Nagar was first conceived during the regime of Rajnath Singh as chief minister in 2001 and given shape in 2002 by the next CM Mayawati. Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the BJP government at the Centre gave the project a green signal.
2) In 2003, SP, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, came to power, and shelved it along with the ‘Taj Expressway’ project, which was later renamed ‘Yamuna Expressway’.
3) In 2007, the Mayawati-led BSP government revived the Jewar project after coming to power. It was proposed alongwith the Yamuna Expressway and named the ‘Taj International Aviation Hub’. The BSP government started pursuing it with UPA, which was in power at the Centre.
4) The hurdle for the airport was that it would fall within a 150 km radius of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, thus contradicting an agreement signed with GMR-led consortium Delhi International Airport Private Limited.
5) In 2012, the new Akhilesh-led SP government came up with a fresh proposal for a ‘Taj International Airport’ in Agra instead. However, when the defence ministry opposed the move as the air force had an airbase in Kheria area of Agra, the state tweaked its proposal and wrote to the Centre proposing that the location be shifted to Firozabad or Akhilesh’s village Saifai. It was during the last phase of his government that Akhilesh relented and expressed his willingness for two international airports, one in Jewar and the other in Agra.
Last year, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it had received a proposal from the then state government for grant of site clearance for the proposed airport near Jewar. The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital handles around 1,100 flights every day and plans are afoot to increase the aerodrome’s capacity. “Within a few years, we will be using the capacity of Indira Gandhi International Airport… We (would) have to add the second airport for NCR relatively soon,” Sinha said.
(With inputs from Indian Express and agencies)