An international airport with a capacity to handle 30-50 million passengers per year will come up at Jewar in Greater Noida in the next five to six years to ease the load on the Delhi airport, the government announced on Saturday.
"In-principle clearance has been granted" for the greenfield airport at Jewar, civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said at a press briefing in New Delhi.
The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has notified 3,000 hectares of land in Jewar for a "world- class" international airport, Raju added.
Of the total land, 1,000 hectares will be acquired under the first phase of airport development, which will cost Rs 2,000 crore.
The government expects the entire project to cost Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore.
The metro service in Noida is also likely to be extended up to Jewar in order to improve connectivity to the airport.
The state government, which has been pushing for this project, has also been told by the Centre to improve road conditions and provide multi-modal transport facilities, said Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, R N Choubey.
The announcement of a second airport in the national capital region comes at a time when the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi grapples with an ever- increasing number of passengers.
The IGI Airport currently handles nearly 62 million passengers every year. As per its updated master plan, the passenger handling capacity will be increased to 109.33 million passengers per year in a phased manner.
However, the airport is likely to reach that figure in the next seven years, necessitating a second airport in the vicinity of the national capital, according to the government.
"Within seven years Delhi airport will see 109 million trips a year, which will saturate its capacity. For the sake of NCR and NCR's connectivity having a second airport is vitally important and that is what Noida international airport will accomplish," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said.
Senior minister Raju said that the government will honour the Operation Management and Development Agreement (OMDA) with GMR, which operates the Delhi Airport jointly with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for Delhi airport. As per this agreement GMR will have the first right of refusal in case an airport is built within 150 kilometres of the existing one.
The capacity to handle 30-50 million passengers per year will put the Jewar airport on par with the Mumbai airport, which sees 45 million passengers per year.
Sinha added that the new airport will also provide seamless domestic and international connectivity to western UP with Noida, Agra, Mathura, Meerut, Vrindavan, Meerut, Moradabad and Bulandshahr likely to serve as the the catchment area for the new aerodrome.
"Noida International Airport will become like an aerotropolis with an airport at the centre and a whole host of economic activities around it," said Sinha.
The first phase will be a reality in five to six years, which includes procurement of land, bidding it out for construction and then providing connectivity, Civil Aviation Secretary Choubey said.
He added that the representatives of the Uttar Pradesh government have assured the Centre that farmers are willing to provide the land for airport development on negotiated settlement basis.
In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Civil Aviation Minister Nand Gopal Nandi and health minister Siddhartnath Singh told newspersons that the upcoming airport is expected to enable Noida to become a major global electronics manufacturing cluster, with significant investments in the sector already coming in from major global players like Samsung.
Tourism to destinations such as Mathura, Vrindavan and Agra will also see a major boost, they said, adding that it is also likely to serve as major logistics hub for various manufacturing and export centers in the western part of the state.