If all goes according to the plan, a second international airport for Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) may soon become a reality. On Friday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation gave its nod to build a new airport at Greater Noida’s Jewar region in Uttar Pradesh.

Source: b"Air traffic in New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is expected to reach its peak handling by 2024/ Source: PTI\xc2\xa0"

“We have granted in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar (Greater Noida) to cater to the growing flying requirements of NCR,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju announced on Twitter on Saturday.

Air traffic in New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is expected to reach up to 91 MPPA in next three years and touch its peak handling capacity of 109 MPPA by 2024, the statement said, highlighting the need for a second airport near the capital city.

The Noida International Airport near New Delhi will be built from scratch in phases and is expected to cater to 30-50 million passengers per year (MPPA) over the next 10-15 years, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

Air travel in India, one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets, has boomed in the last decade as it opened up to competition, ticket prices were slashed and the number of people wealthy enough to travel swelled.

NCR, or the National Capital Region, encompasses Delhi and several surrounding districts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan states.

The new airport in Greater Noida, will be 72 kms (about 45 miles) away from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The 3,000 hectare (7,400 acre) airport will have one runway in its initial phase, adding three more in subsequent phases.

The state government along with Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority will bear the land procurement cost. Contracts for this public-private partnership project will be awarded after competitive bidding, the statement said.

Most of India's 40 largest airports will exceed their design capacity within a decade based on projected growth rates, consultancy CAPA estimates, with Mumbai and Chennai fast approaching saturation.

The government plans to open 50 disused airports by 2020, and has given approval for 18 greenfield airports.

Delays in acquiring land, as well as the inability of debt-laden domestic airport operators such as GMR Group and GVK to invest, have stymied expansion proposals.

The Noida international airport will cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years, Mr. Raju said.

The airport will be spread across land area of 3000 hectares and is expected to bring in investment of up to Rs 20,000 crore. “The first phase will be developed on 1,000 hectare land,” the Mr. Raju said. The first phase of the project will cost Rs 10,000 crore.

(With inputs from Reuters)