Lucknow: With the revision of the existing policy on the grant of approvals for new airports in the country, including the provision for a case-by-case consideration of greenfield airport projects within 150 km of existing ones, the Rs5,000-crore greenfield Taj International Aviation Hub (TIAH) in Jewar, near Greater Noida, may have secured a second lease of life.
The Mayawati-government sponsored project had run into legal challenges by the GMR Infrastructure Ltd-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) consortium,as it was pointed out that under the concession agreement to which they were signatories no new airport could come up in the radius of 150-km of an existing airport.
The Jewar project was well within this limitation as it is slated to come up within 70-km of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport at Delhi.
The revised policy includes a provision that allows looking at proposals for setting up greenfield airports within 150-km of an existing civilian airport, on a case-by-case basis.
The Uttar Pradesh State government, who have sponsored the TIAH proposal, point out that Delhi's IGI airport is already congested with no possibility of extensions. They also refer to an Airports Authority of India study, which states that by 2015-16 estimated air traffic at the IGI Airport will hit the 108 million mark. This, it is pointed out, would lead to severe air congestion, which can only be offset by another airport in the vicinity.
The TIAH proposal is designed to handle around 3.9 million passengers annually by 2011-12, or roughly one-fifth of the current traffic at the New Delhi airport. The proposal also seeks to derive a significant share of revenues through city-side developments such as shopping malls, hotels, a cargo hub, an aviation academy and residential complexes and other projects.
The proposal also requires acquisition of 1,500 hectares of land.