DIAL opposes new airport at Noida

New Delhi: The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), currently engaged in building a new terminal and a runway at Delhi''s international airport here, has argued before the civil aviation ministry that the existing airport is capable of handling the entire traffic requirement of the national capital and that a cabinet proposal to set up a new airport in Noida should be reconsidered.

''A second airport in such close proximity comes up only when the first one is saturated. It will lead to two weak airports as well as huge additional costs in infrastructure development. We have written to the government to look into the matter,'' I. Prabhakara Rao, chief development officer of DIAL, told reporters Monday.

''The expanded capacity of the current Delhi airport, which is under modernisation, is capable of handling the entire traffic requirement in the 150-km catchment area around the capital for the next 20 years,'' Rao said.

The proposed airport at Noida would be 68 km from Delhi airport.

The DIAL is currently developing a new terminal (T3) and a runway to cater to 37 million passengers by 2010 against a current flow of around 20.4 million. Its capacity would be increased in future.

According to DIAL officials, the new runway would be completed by June 2008 and the new terminal would be operational by March 2010.