The Centre has decided to redevelop Mumbai's Juhu airport by extending its runway 650 metres into the sea, in order to ease traffic congestion at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International (CSI) Airport.
The first-of-its-kind project involves realigning and extending the main runway on stilts. The government plans to make the Juhu runway operational by 2017, when the Mumbai airport is forecast to get saturated.
The redeveloped Juhu airport would cater to private jet and small turboprop and ATR operations, which constitute around 15% of CSI's total operations. "The redevelopment would result in diversion of 15% of aircraft movement from CSI and would bring down the congestion considerably. By the time this 15% capacity is used, the Navi Mumbai airport should be ready," a senior aviation ministry official said.
Sources said the project cost would be around R2,000 crore.
The Juhu airport runway would be parallel to the main runway at CSI, and the two airports would be able to handle landings and take off simultaneously.
The Juhu airport would also continue to cater to helicopter operations using its second, smaller runway. “A feasibility study has been done,” the official said.
The official said a decision would soon be taken on whether the project would be handled by Airports Authority of India (AAI) or through a public-private partnership.
At a recent meeting of aviation ministry, AAI and Maharashtra government officials, consultant KPMG made a presentation on the various feasible options for the redevelopment of Juhu airport, which were then discussed and deliberated.
“The Bandra Versova sea-link and the proposed development of Juhu airport would be planned in a manner that both projects can co-exist,” aviation ministry sources said. “It would also be ensured that the project does not hamper Juhu beach area and other environmental issues.”