India finally gives green light to New Delhi’s second international airport

A $3.1bn public-private partnership project to build an international airport to serve New Delhi has been approved by India’s ministry of Civil Aviation. When complete the Noida International Airport is expected to have an annual passenger capacity of between 30 and 50 million.

The announcement was made at the end of last month by Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the minister for civil aviation, at a press briefing in New Delhi. Raju added that the government expected 109 million passengers to pass through New Delhi by 2009.

The project was proposed in 2001, but has been delayed by disagreements between the national and state governments over its location. One problem was that a site near the town of Jewar was within 150km of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, and would contravene an agreement the government had reached with the GMR Group, the Bengaluru company that runs that facility.

Agreement was subsequently made easier because both the state and federal governments were in the hands of the Prime Minister Modi’s BJP party.

The project will be complemented by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), an agency of the state government of Uttar Pradesh (UP), that was formed to promote growth in a 2,700 sq km economic corridor that stretches south from New Delhi to Agra.

YEIDA has earmarked 3,000ha for the Jewar site, which is about 60km south of New Delhi.
Noida is scheduled to be operational within six years.

Image: Indira Ghandi international airport is nearing its maximum capacity (Creative Commons)

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