The GMR Group, which leads the consortium that operates the Delhi airport, has said it’s “returns have to be protected” if the government wants a new airport in Greater Noida.
“If the government wants to have a new airport our returns have to be protected. We are not against infrastructural growth. If our passenger traffic goes (to Greater Noida) the revenues would come down,” GM Rao, chairman, GMR group told Hindustan Times.
Rao said the Bangalore-headquartered group, which has built and operates the Delhi and Hyderabad airports, would bid for the Navi Mumbai airport project.
“As per the Operations, Management and Development Agreement (with Airports Authority of India), if we are not able to meet the traffic (at the Delhi airport) government has the right to go for another airport,” he said.
AAI has commissioned the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to prepare a report on the projected passenger traffic at the proposed airport.
Rao said globally there had been many cases where two airports in a city have gone sick. He gave the example of Montreal where the new airport had to be closed down. “In London, a new airport was built when the old airport reached its peak. A study by ICAO lists six airports that went sick due to the same reason. Today we have 29 million passengers annually and we can reach up to 100 million,” Rao said.
The UP government had first mooted the proposal for a new airport in 2001. The proposal for the airport had been held up because a 1997 rule said that no new airport can be set up within 150 kms of an existing one.
The proposed airport would be just 72 kilometres away from the Delhi airport.
Rao said his group was “always looking for opportunities” and had a “clear cut strategy till 2020”.