India clears plan for $3.10 bln second airport for Delhi

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The new facility, expected to be spread across 3,000 hectares of land, will be the second global airport to serve the catchment areas of the National Capital Region (NCR).

After 16 long years of planning and dawdling, Greater Noida is set to get an global airport in the next five to six years as the Union civil aviation ministry gave an in-principle nod to the proposal on Saturday.However, it took three state governments, countless proposals and shifting of localities for the ambitious project to come to fruition. "We expect the first phase of the airport, with a single runway and terminal building, to start operations by 2022", said Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation.

The Union Aviation Ministry on Friday approved a second worldwide airport in the Delhi-National Capital Region, at Greater Noida's Jewar in Uttar Pradesh, The Hindu reported. "In Delhi, we are expecting 91 million passengers by 2020 and 109 million passengers by 2024", Gajapathi Raju said at the briefing.

The Noida International Airport will be located 72Kms from IGI Airport and 65 Kms from Hindon Air Force station Ghaziabad.

The state government will implement the project through the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA). "This airport will provide a massive boost to economic activity to the NCR and in western UP", Mr.Sinha added. The airport is expected to cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10 to 15 years.

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Reaching out to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Raju congratulated and applauded the new UP govt for their strong push and commitment which resulted in the early clearance of the Jewar airport project.

The Minister said that UP Government has also taken up the issue of regional air connectivity service, Buddhist helicopter service and Ganga Darshan air service with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry. The last UP government scrapped the project, citing a clause that bars development of a second airport within a 150-km radius of an existing one.

The Jewar airport project was conceived during Rajnath Singh's regime in 2001 and given shape in 2002 by the next BSP-BJP coalition Government headed by Mayawati.

However, Raju said that the project which is expected to be developed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, will provide the GMR-led consortium with the "First Right of Refusal" at the time of the bidding.

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