Monday, February 19, 2018

Jets Set for New Home in Mumbai Airport After Two-Decade Wait

Mumbai finally started work on a new airport more than two decades after first proposing it, as jets ran out of space to operate in one of the busiest aerodromes using a single runway.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Navi Mumbai International Airport, to be built on about 1,160 hectares (2,866 acres) of land about 35 kilometers (22 miles) southeast of the existing facility. The new airport, expected to handle 60 million passengers annually when fully complete, is running behind schedule with problems ranging from approvals to delays in the bidding process.
“We are trailing behind in infrastructure given the pace at which the aviation sector is growing,” Modi said at the event. “We are trying to press ahead with the speed of execution.”

India has been lagging behind China, Singapore and Dubai among regional hubs in upgrading airports. In 2019, Beijing is due to open a $12.9 billion facility that will become the city’s second mega airport and capable of accommodating more than 75 million passengers with as many as seven runways. In the past two decades, Singapore and Dubai have boosted their capacity, building new terminals and becoming the eastern and western hubs for Indian air travelers.

“There are no more slots in Mumbai,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer at Vistara, the Indian affiliate of Singapore Airlines Ltd. “All the airlines have a hit a wall. It is not good when the commercial capital is not able to add flights. We certainly want to fly more to Mumbai”
19/02/18 Anurag Kotoky/Bllomberg Quint