Navi Mumbai airport bids next March: Aviation ministry

Aviation secretary Ashok Chawla has laid out a firm timeframe for getting the much-required Navi Mumbai airport ready by the time the existing Mumbai airport reaches the peak of its capacity by the end of 2012. Bidding for Navi Mumbai airport is set to begin in few months. Chawla recently asked the steering committee of the planned airport to invite proposals for appointing a consultant for the Rs9,970-crore project.

The consultant will prepare the bid document in three to four months. The bid will be issued by March and, after evaluation, finalised by next October. The party that wins the bid will have to complete the new airport by the end of 2012.

This airport is to be built at Khargar, near Panvel, in an area of 1,140 hectares. Almost 70 per cent of the land required is already in government possession, and the city and Industrial Development Corporation, better known by its acronym CIDCO, is acquiring the rest.

The aviation ministry wants land acquisition to go hand in hand with the preliminary spadework. The airport will be built in four phases, up to 2028

The project has acquired a new urgency because building a new runway at the present airport has been all but ruled out, and the existing cross-runways can't handle much more traffic than at present.

The Navi Mumbai airport will be built in public-private partnership way just like the new greenfield airports coming up at Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The first phase will be from 2008 to 2012, in which a handling capacity of 10 million passengers annually would be created at a cost of Rs 4,200 crore. The second phase will be from 2015 to 2017, in which an additional Rs1,896 crore will be spent to increase the capacity to 20 million passengers. The third and fourth phases will be from 2020 to 2022 and 2026 to 2028 at a combined cost of cost Rs 3,872 crore, when capacity would increase by 10 million in each phase.