Friday, October 16, 2020

Rebuilding Mumbai airport’s terminal 1B may be Adani’s first task

New Delhi: Reconstructing terminal 1B (T1B) of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is likely to be the first big task the Adani Group will need to execute on taking over the reins of India’s second busiest airport. While the almost Rs 17,000-crore Navi Mumbai Airport is a greenfield project and the Adani group has said it will “achieve financial closure (for it) at the earliest in order to commence construction,” Mumbai International Airport Ld (MIAL) has raised fears over the structural integrity of T1B. The the new promoter may need to give equal priority to this terminal.

Reconstructing T1B, as per the plan submitted by MIAL’s under its outgoing promoter GVK Group to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), will cost over Rs 1,200 crore. The work will focus on structural strengthening and not enhance the terminal’s passenger handling ability as CSMIA’s runway were already handling flights to maximum capacity in pre-Covid times with almost 1,000 daily aircraft movement. Whether Adani Group revises this plan or revises the same on taking over the airport remains to be seen.

“The justification submitted by MIAL for the construction of the Terminal 1B was as follows: ‘The building was built long back, has become structurally weak… a structural audit report also evidences this. Level of service offered is very low as compared to T2, to bring it at par with T2. Plan is to consolidate the entire security hold area (SHA) area to smoothen operations…’,” AERA says in its consultation paper for determining aeronautical services tariffs of CSMIA for April 2019-March 2024 (third control period). Incidentally, Delhi Airport demolished its oldest terminal — T1B — some years ago.

CSMIA’s T1A is not in operation currently but the GVK-managed MIAL planned to use it facilitate reconstruction of Terminal 1B. “So in effect, Terminal 1C and 1A will be in operation when reconstruction of T1B is being done.… Refurbishing of T1A will also be required as baggage handling system, inline screening systems need to be upgraded…. Upgraded Terminal I will be a two-level terminal with segregation between departures and arrivals. There will also be a flyover to the departure level,” AERA paper says.

CSMIA has two terminals T1 and T2. T1 comprises of T1A, B and C buildings which were built over last 50 years with 1B being constructed in 1965; 1A in 1992 and 1C in 2010.

16/10/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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