The proposal for a greenfield airport in Jewar in Greater Noida was cleared by the Centre Saturday and is likely to be operational in the next 5-6 years.
“In principle clearance has been granted’ for the airport, said Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. The airport has been planned to reduce the load of passengers on the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the country’s main aviation hub and one of its busiest airports. “In Delhi, we are expecting 91 million passengers by 2020 and 109 million passengers by 2024,” Raju told reporters.
The airport project was first conceived during the regime of Rajnath Singh as chief minister in 2001 and given shape in 2002 by the next CM Mayawati. With both the state and the Centre being ruled by the BJP, leaders had expressed willingness to pursue it together for the first time.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had expressed an interest in reviving the project during a review meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Infrastructure and Industrial Development Department following which the state government sent a fresh reminder to Raju, promising full cooperation.
The ministers in the UP government were in the national capital earlier this month to discuss the revival of the Jewar airport project with Civil aviation ministry officials. “Regional connectivity in UP, being significant for the state’s development, is primary in the government’s agenda. While 85 per cent of the state’s connectivity is through roads, we are trying to improve air connectivity too,” Siddharth Nath Singh told the Indian Express.
The state government also wants Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Lucknow and Allahabad airports connected to the Centre’s UDAN scheme.
3,000 hectares of land, required for the airport project, has been notified by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority.
“Noida International Airport will cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years,” Raju tweeted.
The airport project has been revived and shelved multiple times during the previous SP and BSP governments citing various reasons.
(Inputs from PTI)