Gujarat wants greenfield airport for Ahmedabad

Mumbai: The rush for new international airports in India continues. After Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, it is now Gujarat's turn to push for a greenfield international airport on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The state government wants a state-of-the-art international airport, on the lines of Singapore's Changi airport, in proximity of its commercial capital. And unlike West Bengal, Gujarat has no problems if the airport were to be privately built.

With non-resident Gujaratis settled all around the world, cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, and even Bhuj witness a huge traffic of expatriates who come home every year or two on holidays. Many international airlines have their offices in Ahmedabad and other cities, and there have been calls for a modern international airport for the city.

The state government is now looking at the possibility of a greenfield airport, costing around Rs8,000 crore on 4,000 hectares of land, in Mehmedabad, Dholera, or Sanand, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The central government had earlier turned down a proposal for an international airport near Ahmedabad, as the site was not found favourable. The Airport Authority of India has proposed a Rs300 crore modernisation of the existing airport in Ahmedabad. But the state government feels there is not much scope for expansion at the present site.

With the federal government having succeeded in getting the privatisation and modernisation of Mumbai and Delhi international airports, there is growing demand for similar projects elsewhere in the country. Both the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal governments are keen that the Chennai and Kolkata airports be modernised.

The Maharashtra government is also pushing for a new greenfield project in Navi Mumbai. Bangalore and Hyderabad are also getting new greenfield projects, while Kerala - the state with a large number of international airports - is also expecting a lot of investments in airport infrastructure.