Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The many fortunes riding on Noida's Jewar airport

New Delhi: The fortunes of a Swiss airport town bordering Germany are connected with Noida. While Jewar has been under discussion for years, the Uttar Pradesh government might now be more than ready to expedite the Noida airport project, especially with state elections round the corner. But the Zurich Airport authority seems to be in a greater hurry than the Yogi government to get Noida airport up and running.

Interesting, isn’t it? We’ll delve into that. But first, let’s look into the details of the upcoming airport.

The greenfield airport, spread over 1,334 hectares, is being developed as a public-private partnership between the Uttar Pradesh government and Zurich Airport, which outbid Adani Enterprises and the GMR group to win the project.

Zurich Airport is investing Rs 5,700 crore for phase-1 and has tied up Rs 3,725 crore in debt from the State Bank of India. The airport's phase-1 will cost Rs 8,916 crore. The Uttar Pradesh government is spending Rs 4,326 crore on land acquisition, rehabilitation and settlement.

The airport will have two terminal complexes. In the first phase, it is expected to handle 12 million passengers annually through Terminal 1. In the second phase, Terminal 1 will generate an additional capacity of 18 million passengers. By 2050, the airport will handle 70 million passengers annually, with Terminal 1 handling 30 million passengers and Terminal 2 seeing 40 million passengers.

But with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport not having reached saturation in capacity, will the Jewar airport be able to generate adequate passenger demand?

Christoph Schnellmann of Zurich Airport, who is CEO of Delhi Noida International Airport, believes so. In an interview with Business Standard, Schnellmann said passenger traffic will triple in the next 40 years.

It is expected to have two runways in the first phase. By the end of all six phases of construction, the Jewar airport will have six runways.

Until now, Delhi’s IGI Airport is India’s busiest, with three terminals seeing passenger traffic of 67.3 million in FY20, before the pandemic sent the aviation industry into a tizzy.

30/11/21 Harshit Rakheja/Business Standard

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