Navi Mumbai

First flight from Navi Mumbai airport in December 2019: Fadnavis

12:57 PM

New airport groundwork to take off next month

After a delay of more than 15 years, the project will see the light of day and work will start soon

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced that the first flight from the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport will take off in December 2019, even though land acquisition issues are yet to be sorted out.

“All approvals for the new airport are in place. I am declaring here that the first flight from the Navi Mumbai airport will take off by December 2019. That is the outer limit,” Mr. Fadnavis announced at the Lokmat Infra Conclave on Tuesday.

He said the project will be awarded in two to three months and work will start immediately after. This is a tight deadline for CIDCO, the implementing agency, which has been toying with the idea of a second airport for Mumbai since 2000, to de-congest Mumbai airport.

Bhushan Gagrani, vice-chairman and managing director, CIDCO, said the first phase of the project comprising one runway and a terminal building, will be completed by deadline, and “we are ready for take-off on or before December 2019”.

After a delay of over a decade-and-a-half, the project is finally likely to see the light of day with the State government receiving approvals from the Centre on a priority basis.

The project will come up on 1,200 hectare of land and will involve an investment of Rs. 16,700 crore. It will be implemented via the public-private-partnership mode with a concession of 40 years, which means the contractor can operate the airport for this period. Four companies and consortiums, including GMR and GVK’s Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) have been short-listed, of which one will be selected in two months. MIAL has first right of refusal.

The new airport will have a passenger handling capacity of 100 million per year, compared to 45 million at the already-saturated Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

For easier connectivity, road infrastructure is being improved. Both airports will be connected via a Metro rail link. The proposed Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link is also expected to provide direct road connectivity to the new airport from south Mumbai.

“The bidding process has started, and will close on November 7, 2016,” Mr. Gagrani said.. “A hill with a height of 250 to 300 metres will be flattened, and the earth will be used for reclamation. A river needs to be diverted, which will be completed in six months.”

A township is being planned next to the proposed airport, called NAINA (Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area). This city will be bigger than Mumbai. “It will be a planned township where there will be no haphazard development,” Mr. Gagrani said.

Meanwhile, the State government has also identified land for a new airport in Pune. “Aviation-related surveys will be conducted in one month. We have given in-principle approval and will announce the project after the surveys are over,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

NAINA will be bigger than Mumbai, a planned township with no haphazard development

- by Lalatendu Mishra

Source :- The Hindu 

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