New Delhi: The National Capital Region may have a second airport with the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday clearing a proposal in this regard to ease the burden on the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which handled over 40 million passengers last fiscal.
The proposal to develop a new airport, for which several sites are being explored including Jewar in Noida, would now be sent to the Cabinet for approval, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting attended by Civil Aviation Secretary Rajeev Nayan Choubey, Air India CMD Rohit Nandan, his Pawans Hans counterpart B P Sharma, Airports Authority of India Chairman R K Srivastava, Director General of Civil Aviation M Sathiyavathi and senior civil aviation ministry officials besides Sharma.
"We have decided to develop a second airport in the NCR as we want to reduce both pollution and air traffic at the Delhi Airport," Sharma said.
The proposed airport would cater to both domestic and international traffic, he said adding, facility would also undertake cargo operations. To a question on the site for the proposed airport, the Minister said Jewar would be the most appropriate as around 2000 acres of land was already available for the project.
"We are talking to the UP Government in this regard," Sharma said, adding the ministry is exploring other options as well.
According to Sharma, GMR Group, the majority stakeholder in the venture that operates the Delhi International Airport is proposed to be accorded the right to first refusal with regard to the new project.
For the new project to fructify, the government would have to amend certain regulations, as existing rules do not permit a second airport within 150-kilometre radius of an existing one, unless the latter is functioning beyond its operational capacity. The Delhi airport handled 40.9 million passengers last fiscal against it operational capacity of 62.5 million.