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PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Navi Mumbai International Airport

PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Navi Mumbai International Airport
Representational image. (Source - Pixabay)

India Ahead

PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Navi Mumbai International Airport

The project is being taken up by the state-run CIDCO and the GVK group.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Navi Mumbai international airport on Sunday in a step towards easing the pressure on the existing airport in India’s financial capital.

India’s aviation sector was growing tremendously and there was a sharp increase in the number of people who were flying, said Prime Minister Modi. This made “quality infrastructure” in the aviation sector something that was of prime importance.

The Navi Mumbai international airport would contribute to the transformation of the sector, he said.

Prime Minister Modi pointed out that a strong aviation sector also gave more economic opportunities. “Better connectivity leads to more tourists coming to India,” he said. He explained that the union government had brought about an aviation policy that was transforming the sector.

The Navi Mumbai international airport, a Rs 16,700 crore project, is expected to contribute immensely towards handling India’s growing domestic air passenger traffic. India has overtaken China’s growth by posting the fastest full-year growth rate for the third year in a row, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a recent report.

(Read – Growing Indian Domestic Aviation Market Leaves Chinese Dragon Behind)

The Prime Minister said that globalization was a reality of our times and to keep pace with it, India needed top quality infrastructure.

Over 20 Years In the Pipeline

The Navi Mumbai international airport was planned in 1997 but the project did not take off till now due to a variety of factors, including political indecision and funding issues. The project is being taken up jointly by the state-run CIDCO and GVK group, which runs the existing Mumbai airport.

The Prime Minister referred to the delay at Sunday’s programme.

At a function in Navi Mumbai, Prime Minister Modi also dedicated the fourth container terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. He said that the Sagarmala project was not only ushering in development of ports but also port-led development. The government was making significant efforts for the development of waterways.

The Prime Minister’s visit came a day before Shivaji Jayanti.

Mumbai A Busy Aviation Hub

Mumbai’s existing Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) is one of India’s busiest airports, second only to Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), and handles over 45 million passengers per annum (MPPA). According to a forecast, this number is likely to go up to 100 million MPPA by 2034.

In fact, the Mumbai-Delhi route was the third busiest domestic route in the world in 2017.

(Read – Busiest Domestic Air Route: Mumbai-Delhi Ranked No 3 In the World)

On 19-20 January this year, the CSIA handled 980 flights over a 24 hour period, breaking its earlier record of 974 flights in December 2017.

Figures put out by the CSIA management say that as of April 2017, 44 different passenger airlines and 15 different freight airlines operate to 47 international destinations. When it comes to operations within India, seven passenger airlines and one freight airline operate to 47 domestic destinations.

While all the international operations are from terminal T2, the domestic airlines operate out of terminal T1 as well as T2.

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