An international airport with a capacity to handle 30-50 million passengers per year will come up at Jewar in Greater Noida in the next five to six years to ease the load on the Delhi airport, the government announced on Saturday. “In-principle clearance has been granted for the greenfield airport at Jewar,” civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said at a press briefing in New Delhi. The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has notified 3,000 hectares of land in Jewar for a “world-class”
international airport, Raju added. Of the total land, 1,000 hectares will be acquired under the first phase of airport development, which will cost Rs 2,000 crore. The government expects the entire project to cost Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore. The metro service in Noida is also likely to be extended up to Jewar in order to improve connectivity to the airport.
The state government, which has been pushing for this project, has also been told by the Centre to improve road conditions and provide multi-modal transport facilities, said secretary in the civil aviation ministry RN Choubey. The announcement of a second airport in the national capital region comes at a time when the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi grapples with an ever-increasing number of passengers. The IGI Airport currently handles nearly 62 million passengers every year. As per its updated masterplan, the passenger handling capacity will be increased to 109.33 million passengers per year in a phased manner.
However, the airport is likely to reach that figure in the next seven years, necessitating a second airport in the vicinity of the national capital, according to the government. “Within seven years, Delhi airport will see 109 million trips a year, which will saturate its capacity. For the sake of NCR and NCR’s connectivity, having a second airport is vitally important and that is what Noida international airport will accomplish,” minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said.
“We hope the land acquisition will take place satisfactorily in the next one year and then we can think of the next steps needed to be taken. The existing airport will be saturated by 2022 and we want the first phase of the new airport to be completed by then,” Ashok Gajapathi Raju, civil aviation minister, told FE.
This new airport will be the fourth greenfield airport to be constructed in the country, with others set to be developed in Chennai, Pune and Visakhapatnam. Last month in an interview to Financial Express, the aviation minister confirmed that a new airport will be constructed in Jewar by 2022 to cope with excessive growth in the number of passengers. Raju said that the government will honour the operation management and development agreement (OMDA) with GMR, which operates the Delhi Airport jointly with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for Delhi airport. As per this agreement, GMR will have the first right of refusal in case an airport is built within 150 kilometres of the existing one. The capacity to handle 30-50 million passengers per year will put the Jewar airport on par with the Mumbai airport, which sees 45 million passengers per year.
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Sinha added that the new airport will also provide seamless domestic and international connectivity to western UP, with Noida, Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, Meerut, Moradabad and Bulandshahr likely to serve as the the catchment areas for the new aerodrome. “Noida International Airport will become like an aerotropolis with an airport at the centre and a whole host of economic activities around it,” said Sinha.
The first phase will be a reality in five to six years, which includes procurement of land, bidding it out for construction and then providing connectivity, Choubey said. He added that the representatives of the Uttar Pradesh government have assured the Centre that farmers are willing to provide the land for airport development on negotiated settlement basis.