Jewar airport could fall short of challenging global bigwigs, but still be India's biggest

The king-sized Jewar airport project has already started to attract crores of investment, with the potential of creating lakhs of jobs

Jewar airport could fall short of challenging global bigwigs, but still be India's biggest
Representative image

India's behemoth Jewar airport is good to have a total of five runways when fully complete, the project monitoring and implementation committee (PMIC) has recommended. 

According to a report in The Times of India, there would be two runways for the first phase. The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet would take a decision on the recommendation possibly by the end of this month, PTI reported.

Five runways would bring the Jewar airport at par with the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in the US and Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China. The initial plan was to have six runways at Jewar, with the possible addition of two more runways. 

Eight runways would have made the Jewar airport among the biggest in the world along with O'Hare International Airport in Chicago (US), which has eight runways, and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (US), which has seven runways. Even six would have seen it going toe-to-toe with airports like Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (US), Boston Logan International Airport (US) and Denver International Airport (US).   

The dilution of the plan in terms of the number of runways stymies Jewar's ambition to challenge the global bigwigs but is still set to make it the biggest in India. The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi is currently the biggest in the country with three runways, and reportedly is in the process of adding a fourth runway.

Also read: Jewar airport promises eye-popping development; avoiding BIC-like fiasco key    

The PMIC, headed by the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary, took the call on the number of runways at the Jewar airport after discussions with senior officials of the chief minister's office (CMO), the civil aviation directorate and the CEOs of the three industrial development areas in Noida and Greater Noida to examine the feasibility of the plan proposed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The airport is to be constructed over 4,752 hectares over the next 20 years in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh. For the first phase, 1,334 hectares of land have been acquired and demarcated. The second phase has been planned over 3,418 hectares and would be implemented in two parts. It will also see 1,318 hectares being taken over and amalgamated for the future expansion of the airport. There could also be a third phase, for which another 735 hectares are to be acquired. 

Also read: 5 ways Jewar airport will help India in becoming a $5 trillion economy

The project concessionaire Zurich Airport International AG is expected to reveal the master plan and design of the first phase of the Jewar airport on December 6.  

The king-sized project has already started to attract crores of investment, with the potential of creating lakhs of jobs. It would be a massive push for the industrial development of the region and the country as a whole. Real estate, logistics, warehousing, tourism and transport infrastructures would be particularly strengthened and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) would get a leg up. These would be particularly welcome news especially in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has devastated livelihoods, sectors and indeed entire economies across the world. 

The Jewar airport would also see a burgeoning population around the project site, and with that in mind, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) is getting its 20-year master plan ready to meet the future needs of the region, a TOI report said.  

Also read: India's behemoth Jewar airport to see brisk action soon

The concession agreement, which was pending for long, between the Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) and Zurich Airport International AG was finalised on October 7. This would allow the Swiss developer to begin work at the site of the upcoming Jewar airport.

According to officials, construction of the airport would start in 2021 and operations at the airport are expected to kick off from 2024. Once the airport is completed it will be the third airport in Delhi-NCR after the IGIA and Ghaziabad’s Hindon airport.

The Jewar airport is expected to accommodate 12-16 million passengers per year. This will increase to 70 million passengers annually by 2040. The Delhi airport is set to exhaust its annual carrying capacity of 100 million passengers by 2023-24. The Jewar airport is expected to significantly bring down the load on the IGIA.