The Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) is finally getting a move-on. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to lay the foundation stone on Sunday 18 February and operations are expected to start in 2019. Here is what we know so far about the status, location, launch date of Mumbai’s second airport:
Location of Navi Mumbai International Airport
The proposed airport is coming up in Panvel, on the outskirts of Mumbai. The official site is now being called Pushpak, a new node in Navi Mumbai created by CIDCO in 2015, as reported by The Times of India. The Navi Mumbai airport will be approximately 8km off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway; 123km from Pune city; 54km from Colaba, Mumbai and 43km from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Current status of Navi Mumbai International Airport
Much—not all—of the land for the airport has been acquired. The airport is being developed on a public-private parternship basis between government agency CIDCO and GVK-Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL). MIAL will hold 74% stake in the project; the rest is with CIDCO. GVK MIAL itself is a consortium led by GVK with Airports Authority of India as the minority stakeholder.
By when will it be operational?
There are various dates being thrown about. CIDCO, the government body overseeing the project, says all construction will be over by end of 2019. The airport operator MIAL, says operations will begin by the end of 2021. Minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha said in February 2018 that the airport will take four-five years to be operational—effectively slating it for 2022-2023. And Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, an aviation think-tank, says the Navi Mumbai airport will be ready only by 2024.
How many flights will it handle?
When built, the airport will definitely ease the burden of air traffic for the Mumbai airport which recently made the record for handling the highest number of flights in a day. According to The Indian Express, the airport is slated to have two parallel runways that could handle up to 80 flights every hour, potentially adding another 2,000 flights to Mumbai daily. Wide-bodied jets such as the A380 will also take off and land here.
Connectivity to Navi Mumbai Airport
To facilitate airport connectivity, major roads around the site are being enhanced. This includes the Aamra Marg which will be widened to 8 lanes including service lanes on either side and NH 4B, to be widened similarly by the Mumbai JNPT Port Road Company Ltd. Other proposed projects are a Vasai to Alibaug Multi Modal Corridor to connect to NMIA as well as the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) from Sewri to Nhava. This will help connect the airport to the prime business hot spots of the South, Central and Western areas of Mumbai. CIDCO will be making provisions for a coastal road that will connect the MTHL with the airport. CIDCO is also planning Navi Mumbai’s first metro system with a connection to NMIA on the Belapur-Kharghar-Pendhar-Taloja-Khandeshwar route.
Inauguration of Navi Mumbai International Airport
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the airport site on 18 February to lay the foundation stone of this project that will now cost the state Rs16,000 crore.