2nd airport wont hit IGI, says govt

Written by Shauvik Ghosh | New Delhi, Jan 9 | Updated: Jan 10 2008, 06:35am hrs
The Centre has overturned the contention by Delhi International Airport Ltd (Dial) that setting up a second airport would result in a massive drop in traffic and revenue for the existing Delhi airport.

According to government estimates, only 5% of Delhis Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport passenger traffic in 2011 would be lost to the proposed Taj International Aviation Hub (TIAH) in neighbouring Greater Noida. That figure would rise to only 15% by 2036. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati revived the proposal for the TIAH after she returned to power in 2007.

A Cabinet note prepared by the ministry of civil aviation has also supported a second international airport for the Delhi NCR as good for competition. With the increasing role of private participation in airport development and necessary monopolistic nature of the sector, there is a need to generate competition, the note states.

The note further points out that the agreement signed by the civil aviation ministry with Dial only guarantees the company right of first refusal, but has no link to the level of traffic at IGI Airport. Traffic for the new airport would include aircraft diverted from IGI, additional traffic due to the development of the region, tourism traffic for Agra and traffic from transit and trans-shipment, it added.

A congested metro coupled with the phenomenal growth of air traffic in the country has put a huge pressure on associated services in the city leading to the need for another airport, the note says. It also cites London and New York, which have one major airport and several secondary airports.

For cargo traffic, it estimates that about 8% of IGIs shipments would go to the new airport at Greater Noida, which will go up to 20% by 2036. Dial is creating capacity for traffic of around 37 million passengers a year by 2010 and 100 million by 2036.

The Greater Noida airport is expected to cost Rs 3,505 crore through PPP, excluding land cost. The UP government will contribute 26% of equity with the rest from the private sector.