Mumbai could soon become the first city in India to get a second airport. The civil aviation ministry on Friday decided to develop the Juhu aerodrome, which is used for chopper operations at present, into a full-fledged airport.
According to the plan cleared by the civil aviation ministry, the airstrip will have terminals and an augmented runway, among other facilities, to allow scheduled flights to land.
Preliminary assessments suggest that the redeveloped Juhu airport could take 15% air traffic load off the present city airport.
“We expect to finish work in the next three years. This is a temporary measure to share the traffic load at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, as work on the Navi Mumbai airport is lagging behind schedule,” said civil aviation secretary KN Srivastav.
The length of the main runway at Juhu would be increased by five times the existing size to accommodate small planes too, as most domestic carriers have a sizeable fleet of planes such as turboprops and Q400s.