Monday, July 19, 2021

Work on Noida airport to begin in few weeks as per plan despite Covid: CEO

Mumbai: Preparatory works for the Noida International Airport will begin in the next few weeks, its chief executive officer Christoph Schnellmann said.

The airport will handle 12 million passengers a year in the first phase and despite the Covid-19 pandemic there is no change in its design and schedule, he added. The airport will be completed within three years of the start of construction.

The greenfield airport spread over 1334 hectares is being developed as a public partnership between the Uttar Pradesh government and Zurich Airport which outbid Adani Enterprises and GMR group to win the project.

Schnellmann expects to receive possession of the land and begin initial construction activities in the next few weeks. This would include earth works, construction of boundary wall, access for utilities among others. Tendering process to select an EPC contractor to build the terminal and airside facilities is underway and will b ecomplete in the next few months. The airport is slated to open in 2024.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted air travel, Zurich Airport is pinning hopes on recovery in air traffic in India. The demand rebound post the first and second waves of pandemic and need for a second airport in Delhi-NCR region are factors influencing the group’s planning. “We are confident that the growth will return. There is no change in schedule or the design,” he said. “Covid-19 has been disruptive to aviation but the quick recovery of domestic travel gives us confidence.”

The first phase of the airport is expected to cost Rs 5,700 crore. Zurich Airport will be investing Rs 2000 crore and the balance has been tied up with a loan from the State Bank of India. So far Zurich Airport has invested around Rs 200 crore in the project this year and that is used to fund its current operations and engineering and design activities.

19/07/21 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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