Most newspapers this morning carried had full page advertisements lauding the Bhumipoojan (Foundation Stone Laying) of Noida International Airport. Terming it as world’s fourth largest Airport in Jewar, Noida. The last few days have seen the airport being propped up with numbers around job creation, runways planned and more. While the overall hoopla could well be creating buzz of the state elections in Uttar Pradesh early next year, there is no denying the fact that Noida International Airport is the need of the hour and has progressed at an unmatched speed in India. In addition to this, the airport would stand out with its multi modal connectivity which airports like Hyderabad and Bengaluru are struggling to offer even after a decade of being operationalized!
As per the approval secured for the masterplan, the airport will start with single runway operations catering to 12 million passengers per year and aims to start in FY2024-25. Far from being largest in Asia, this will be about 10-12% of what neighboring Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi would cater to by the same time.
With a concession period of 40 years, the airport which ultimately aims to have five runways (or six) would cater to 70 million passengers per year at the end of Phase IV. The largest in Asia title is being touted as the master plan beyond the concession period! Going by how fast airports are conceived and implemented in other parts of the world, things will drastically change by then! Comparing proposed size of Noida International Airport beyond the concession period with the existing size of all airports in the region is like comparing apples to oranges!
What makes NOIDA Airport special?
Once completed, the airport will house two passenger terminals. Terminal 1 will have a capacity of 30 million passengers per year and Terminal 2 a capacity of 40 million passengers per year. The terminals will be interconnected to facilitate the transfer for passengers, minimize walking distances and reduce environmental impact. Additionally, the modular development plan will minimize impact on operations during construction. The Inter-terminal connector is important to ensure flexibility for airlines and their operations.
The first Terminal (T1) will be built in two stages- the first for 12 million passengers per year, the second with an additional capacity for 18 million passengers per year. Terminal 2 will also be built in two stages – with a first stage capacity of 12 million passengers per year and second stage capacity of 18 million passengers per year. The forecourts for both terminals will have direct access to a single Ground Transportation Center.
The airport will have metro connectivity as well as express highway connectivity which will ensure the catchment area increases from just NOIDA to include a lot of major towns in the vicinity like Aligarh, Agra, Faridabad, and Mathura amongst others. It could be the first airport which will start with public transport availability right from day one!
Airport Infra in Uttar Pradesh
The bhoomipujan today marks another milestone in the progress of the airport. The concession agreement was signed on October 07, 2020, just over a year earlier! The ground-breaking ceremony for Noida International Airport was held at Jewar today in the presence of the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and the Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath. The ceremony marks the beginning of construction of the airport. The ceremony – hosted by Shri R K Tiwari, Chairman NIAL and Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and Mr. Daniel Bircher, Chairman YIAPL and MD Zurich Airport International – was attended by eminent dignitaries including Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri V.K. Singh, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador of Switzerland to India, Shri Nand Gopal Gupta, Minister Civil Aviation, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and Shri Dhirendra Singh, MLA, Jewar.
Noida International Airport will be built through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with an overall investment of INR 5730cr. The airport, set to open in 2024, will combine Indian culture, hospitality and design with Swiss technology and efficiency.
Uttar Pradesh would soon have 14 operational airports – the largest in the country for any state!