Monday, May 22, 2023

Noida airport in cruise mode as it sets sights on Oct 2024 launch

Greater Noida: Jewar's metamorphosis from nondescript village to India's newest airport town is happening fast, and the large complex that is driving this transformation embodies this change.

The contours of what will become NCR's second international airport by October next year have started taking shape as 3,000 workers of Tata Projects toil away night and day at the site, with Christoph Schnellman, the airport's CEO, at the helm.

Outside the compound, the rush to cash in on the real estate boom that has been seen in the region ever since the project was announced is immediately apparent. Property dealer signboards with aircraft pictures abound on the Sikandrabad-Jewar road (off the Yamuna Expressway) that leads to the site.

Within the airport site's boundaries, hardly a minute passes without activity. Kitchens have been set up where workers from different states and regions cook their staple diets. There's no one size - or 'thali' in this case - fits all for the hardworking bunch in a dust bowl where May mornings feel several degrees hotter than the early 40 degrees reading that the weather app shows.

Soon, it's going to be a year since work began. "Work started last June, and so far, about 60 lakh safe man hours have been put in without any major injury. Safety is the prime focus as we build what will be the most modern and well-connected Indian airport within the stipulated time frame," Schnellman, a Flughafen Zurich veteran who in 2007-08 played a key role when it was building the new Bengaluru Airport, told TOI at the site.

A 38-metre-high air traffic control (ATC) tower, the terminal building, a fuel farm, the taxiway, the runway and internal approach roads are all being simultaneously built. The terminal building's starting point will have an underground approach that will connect with the multi-modal transport hub, which in turn will link the airport up with any rail network - like RapidX or metro - that might be built in future.

22/05/2023 Saurabh Sinha & Surojit Gupta/Times of India

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