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Proposed Navi Mumbai airport to come up at original site, says civil aviation secretary news
29 April 2008

New Delhi: The greenfield airport at Navi Mumbai will come up at the proposed site and will not be shifted elsewhere, a top civil aviation ministry official said on Tuesday.

"Since there is no other site suitable for the airport, the proposed greenfield airport will come up at the same location," Ashok Chawla, secretary, civil aviation ministry, said here on the sidelines of the international seminar, 'Indian Airports: the Emerging Opportunities.'

According to Chawla, the Maharashtra chief minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh had also written to the ministry to build the airport at the site originally proposed.

There had been issues related to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport on environmental grounds.

As for the all-party meet on the future of the old Bangalore airport, Chawla said, "the government is working on the guiding principle, based on consensus for keeping the existing airport open."

He also said that the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) Bill has been introduced in Parliament, and once it was approved the body would be in place by October, 2008. The regulator would be entitled to look into aspects such as aeronautical charges and user development fees.

Chawla also said that with India's aviation sector now growing three times faster than the country's GDP, the government would now focus on the development of the cargo sector. In this regard he said that at least "half a dozen aerotropolis' (metropolis around the airport) will come up in the near future."

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Proposed Navi Mumbai airport to come up at original site, says civil aviation secretary