Cidco team flies to US

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai | Updated: May 23 2011, 08:13am hrs
The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), the nodal agency for the development of the proposed R9,000 crore Navi Mumbai International Airport, is yet complete its land acquisition process. However, it is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the new airport meets international standards.

In a bid to study how cities having more than one airport distribute air traffic amongst themselves, Cidco officials left on a week-long tour to the US on Sunday, during which they will visit New York City, Washington DC and Miami. The Navi Mumbai airport, the second airport in Mumbai, will handle one crore passengers initially. Bids for developing the project will be invited later this year.

The Navi Mumbai airport needs a total of 2,020 hectares of land. Recent reports suggest that out of this, 1,333 hectares are already with Cidco, another 263 hectares of government land is in the process of being transferred to it. 424 hectares of private land is still to be acquired.

T Satre, MD, Cidco told FE, I am visiting these airports with my team to understand how traffic is distributed in cities which have more then one airport.

The Navi Mumbai airport is being proposed due to increasing traffic and to relieve bottleneck traffic at the existing Mumbai airport which handles around 700 flights daily. International carriers are adding flights to India and domestic traffic has increased over 20% in Jan-March 2011 as airlines carried 119 lakh passengers during the period.

Girish Shirodkar, partner-infrastructure practice at consulting firm Strategic Decisions Group says, The Navi Mumbai airport can offer a different set of facilities to passengers. Since it is not in the heart of the city, there are chances that the airport will offer lower airport usage fee to customers as the operator of the airport might get some concessions.

An analyst from a Mumbai-based broking firm adds, The upcoming airport will be used most by low-cost airlines that are still expanding as getting slots will not be difficult. Similarly, the airport can serve international carriers who want to fly on feeder routes.