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Home > City Resources > Transportation > Indian railways

Airport Authority of India
    - to conduct feasibility study into proposed airport at Navi Mumbai

Sharad Yadav, Union minister for Civil AviationThe Airport Authority of India(AAI) is conducting a feasibility study of the second proposed international airport at Navi Mumbai. Last week, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Sharad Yadav, issued directives to AAI to examine the feasibility of a second international airport in Maharashtra, based on the Maharashtra government's revised proposal for location of the airport in Navi Mumbai for decongesting Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The proposal was submitted to the Civil Aviation Ministry in September 2000.

AAI had earlier cleared the feasibility of a domestic airport in Navi Mumbai. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh believes that the state urgently needs another international airport for promoting economic development and facilitating the success of the Information Technology sector in Maharashtra. He believes that the site for the proposed airport project should be decided without much loss of time.

The proposal to first locate the site, and then construct an international airport at Navi Mumbai, has been prepared by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO). The proposal was prepared on the basis that, in the next 10 to 15 years, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport would get saturated with the increase in passenger load and cargo traffic.

CIDCO, is a state government undertaking, which has been developing Navi Mumbai on commercial lines, for the past 30 years. CIDCO's Vice Chairman Anil Lakhina, in a proposal, has highlighted three alternatives that could be taken into consideration for locating the second international airport. The alternative pinpointed in the proposal has a score of merits, namely, ready mode of transport, availability of physical and social infrastructure in a well planned township, and minimum rehabilitation and resettlement of affected population.

``The proposed airport project in Navi Mumbai, is bound to be financially viable, more than 50 per cent of the requisite land for the project is already in CIDCO's possession and the project is being well received by the local residents of Navi Mumbai. The AAI, in its study report has identified the need for another international airport, on grounds that the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport terminal capacity and Mumbai's infrastructure would be unable to meet the projected air travel demand. According to a study report prepared by CIDCO, by 2010, there is bound to be congestion, both at the forecourt and access of the existing international airport at Sahar in north west Mumbai. AAI has cleared the feasibility of a domestic airport in Navi Mumbai. In addition, CIDCO has proposed for an international airport and even earmarked additional areas to accomodate two runways as per the mandatory specifications laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation,'' said Lakhina.

Deshmukh is confident that the proposed airport will be built, and simultaneously become operational within a decade. In fact, Deshmukh is keenly interested in this proposed project turning into a reality. He has asked the union Ministry for Civil Aviation and AAI to conduct an exhaustive examination of the proposed project and submit a report to the state government within a month; so that the government could accordingly decide on the exact location of the site of this proposed international airport.

By : Mani D'Mello


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