Sunday, October 31, 2021

Aaditya Thackeray gives wings to plan for third airport at Palghar

Mumbai: State tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said Maharashtra government was considering a third airport in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR), near Palghar.

The project is in its preliminary discussion stage. He said a site was yet to be identified. “This was part of a preliminary discussion, seeing the needs of the region. However, we will initiate the process soon,” Thackeray told TOI. Officials said with Mumbai airport being used to its full potential and the delayed Navi Mumbai airport too may be insufficient to meet requirements, the state government was considering a third airport.

Airline officials lauded the decision but air safety experts warned against early announcements, citing developments after the Navi Mumbai airport project was announced. “Builders lapped up land around the proposed Navi Mumbai airport and the area went into a construction frenzy,’’ said an aviation source.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) grants a no-objection certificate (NOC) for height clearance of buildings that are within a 20km radius of an airport. For instance, buildings within a 4km radius from airport centre point can be a maximum of only 45m tall (around 15 storeys). “But for Navi Mumbai airport, Cidco started granting NOCs for building heights in accordance with AAI norms only after 2012, which was decades after the airport project was announced,’’ the source said.

31/10/21 Bhavika Jain & Manju V/Times of India

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