Spread over 5,000 hectares with four runways, the proposed International airport at Jewar will be ‘India’s biggest’, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), the nodal agency for the project, said.Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport is spread over an area of 2,066 hectares.
The IGI airport is projected to reach its full capacity by 2023-24. The Delhi airport currently handles 60 million passengers per annum, which is likely to be doubled by 2023.
On Tuesday, Union civil aviation secretary Rajeev Nayan Choubey reviewed the ambitious project at the office of Yamuna expressway industrial development authority (YEIDA), the nodal agency for the project.
Choubey, along with members and aviation experts from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), were briefed for four hours at the Yamuna authority’s office in Greater Noida’s Sector Omega-I, following which the officials left for an inspection of the site near Jewar.
The government expects the Jewar airport to be operational in the next five to six years and cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years.
“The authority has enough land along the Yamuna expressway, hence the airport can be expanded if needed. It will be the biggest international airport in the country,” said Shailendra Bhatia, officer on special duty of YEIDA.
The civil aviation secretary wants Jewar airport to start operations before the Delhi airport reaches its full capacity, Bhatia said.
YEIDA and the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration are scheduled to start land acquisition for this ambitious project in July, groundwork for which has already started.
“He (aviation secretary) has asked us to issue bid document by August 2018 to select a developer. As per the timelines fixed, we will have to be ready with the bid document before August this year. He said that the IGI Airport will be saturated by 2024 and the aviation sector will grow manifold. Therefore, the Jewar airport project will become biggest of its kind in India. And, of course, it will be bigger than IGI when developed to its full capacity,” said Prabhat Kumar, chairman of the YEIDA.
The GMR Group, which operates Delhi’s IGI airport, would be the preferred developer and will have the right of first refusal for this new project.
IGI airport has three independent runways and by next year it will add a fourth runway. Officials said that in the first phase, Jewar will have two runways and in the second phase two runways will be added with a potential for further expansion in phase 3.
“In terms of size, Jewar airport project will be the biggest in the country because 5,000 hectares of land has been earmarked to begin the project. The IGI airport is spread only on 2,066 hectare area and the Navi Mumbai one does not have land for expansion. Initially, Jewar will not be able to compete with IGI in terms of flight traffic. But yes, the project could be India’s biggest because it has huge potential to meet growing aviation needs,” said aviation expert Captain Gurcharan Bhatura, director general, Foundation for Aviation and Sustainable Tourism.
Choubey, along with aviation experts, reached YEIDA’s office at 11.30am, where Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) gave a presentation on the progress and the timelines to be followed for the project. PwC was hired by YEIDA in December 2017 for preparing the techno-economic feasibility report (TEFR).
Choubey directed the PWC to study all new airport projects such as Delhi, Navi Mumbai and Kochi to find out hurdles that they faced at the stage of development.
“PWC will study and list hurdles, which normally an airport project faces. It will help in resolving those hurdles well in advance and save our time, which gets wasted on unnecessary processes. It will help us in completing all formalities in advance and select a developer as per timelines,” said Kumar.
The UP government has expedited the work for this project and the union government is also supporting this project with an aim to create investment and employment in this region.
The Union civil aviation ministry on June 24, 2017 had given its approval to build an international airport at Jewar.
In 2001 then UP chief minister Rajnath Singh had proposed the Greenfield Taj International Airport and Aviation Hub (TIH) in Jewar. L&T Rambol Consulting Engineers had in 2004 prepared a draft of TEFR. Later, the draft was revised in 2008. In 2010 then chief minister Mayawati had also supported the aviation project at Jewar. Now again in June 2017 central government revived the project, which remained stuck for many years.