With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laying the foundation stone for the Rs 30,000-crore Noida International Airport, to be the largest in Asia and the fourth largest in the world, decks have been cleared for the execution of the grand project, which will create two passenger terminals with a capacity to handle 70 million passengers, 186 aircraft stands and a multi-modal cargo hub with one-million-tonne capacity.
To be spread over more than 1,300 ha at Jewar village in Greater Noida, work on the airport will be undertaken in four phases. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by 2024, with one runway becoming operational. To be built at a cost of Rs 5,730 crore, the first phase would cater to 12 million passengers per annum till FY2027. Phase II of the project would entail a cost of Rs 5,983 crore and would cater to an additional 18 million passengers per annum by FY2031-32, while Phase III of the project would cater to another 20 million passengers by FY2036-37, costing Rs 8,415 crore. Phase IV of the project, to cost Rs 10,575 crore, would be completed during FY2040-50, by which time the airport would be catering to 70 million passengers in all.
The Yamuna International Airport Pvt Ltd (YIAPL)— a 100% subsidiary of Zurich Airport International AG, which is developing the airport under the PPP model—has already achieved financial closure of a Rs 3,725-crore loan for the first phase of the project from the State Bank of India. The project is being funded on a debt-to-equity ratio of 65:35. The concessionaire, Zurich Airport International AG (ZAIA), a fully owned subsidiary of Flughafen Zurich AG, is injecting Rs 2,005 crore as equity into the project.
The NIAL masterplan envisages a multi-modal transit hub at the Ground Transportation Centre at the airport, which will offer integrated and seamless road, rail, bus and Metro connectivity to passengers—the key connectivity points include a Metro extension from Noida as well as an airport station for the upcoming 800-km-long high-speed rail link from Delhi to Varanasi. The hub will house Metro and high-speed rail stations, taxi, bus services and private parking, along with a large concourse area with commercial spaces, restaurants, and lounges.
According to Christoph Schnellmann, CEO, YIAPL, the Noida airport has the potential to become a key air cargo gateway for North India. “The airport will develop an ecosystem that provides state-of-the-art infrastructure and product offerings that incorporate Swiss efficiency, simplicity, and quality. The integrated multi-modal cargo hub will play a crucial role in establishing UP on the global logistics map,” he has said.
The airport will also house a state-of-the-art MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) facility and a swing aircraft stand, which will provide airlines flexibility to operate an aircraft for both domestic and international flights from the same contact stand. This will ensure quick and efficient aircraft turnaround, while ensuring smooth and seamless movement of passengers.
Once completed, the project will help decongest the IGI Airport in New Delhi, besides meeting the needs of people of Noida, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Agra, Faridabad and other neighbouring areas. Speaking to FE, Kumar Harsh, special secretary, civil aviation, government of UP, says, “due to its scale and capacity, the airport will be a gamechanger for UP. It will unleash its potential to the world. The airport will play a crucial role in helping the region attract huge investment, boosting industrial growth, and enabling local products reach national and international markets”.