With a record-breaking financial bid for the greenfield airport in Jewar, the wheels have begun turning for the third airport in the national capital region, with phase 1 set to see the light of day by 2023.
According to officials, the financial bid by Zurich Airport International AG is the highest in the country’s aviation sector so far. Under the proposal, the airport is expected to have six-eight runways once it becomes fully operational after all four phases are complete.
As of September 2019, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has the highest number of runways in India — three. O’Hare International Airport and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport have the most number of runways in the world — eight and seven, respectively.
“After technical bids are decided, the company that offers highest return per passenger is given the opportunity to become the concessionaire. In this case, the Swiss company made the highest bid we have seen in aviation. This is a positive sign for us since the bidding process was carried out in complete transparency. The people of NCR can expect a world class airport,” said Shailendra Tripathi, nodal officer of Noida International Airport Limited.
The Zurich Airport offered a bid of Rs 400.97 per passenger, followed by a bid of Rs 360 by Adani Group.
The Swiss Company is currently involved in eight airports in Latin America, and is looking at India as a “focus market”. The company had sold its shares in Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport in 2017.
The airport in Jewar will be developed in four phases over the next 30 years. As per initial calculations, phase 1 will witness an approximate traffic of 12 million passengers per annum, which is expected to increase to 70 million passengers per annum by the end of phase 4.
The cost of the Jewar airport is set to increase from Rs 4,588 crore in the first phase to Rs 29,560 crore upon completion.
The Jewar airport will also be aimed at reducing burden on Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is expected to reach its peak capacity of handling close to 110 million passengers in the next five-six years. It is proposed that the first phase will have two runways and two additional ones will come up in the following phase.
To ensure easy mobility to and from the airport, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) is planning to extend the Aqua Line towards the airport. According to officials, after a proposal was submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, an expert panel, including officials from the Noida Metro Rail Corporation, are currently examining the feasibility of the project which will be deliberated upon by the YEIDA.
With 998.13 hectares of land already acquired by the administration, airport officials are confident that the rest of the land will be made available in the month of December. The Jewar airport had earlier witnessed a fair share of protests by villagers, who had alleged that they were not compensated adequately for the land that was acquired.
On September 23, more than 40 farmers had been detained while protesting for land compensation.
The new airport will be located about 72 km from Delhi airport, 40 km from Noida and Ghaziabad, 28 km from Greater Noida, 65 km from Gurgaon and 130 km from Agra.