Delhi, Mumbai to have 3 airports each, 31 cities to get 2nd one by 2040
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Delhi, Mumbai to have 3 airports each, 31 cities to get 2nd one by 2040

The civil aviation ministry’s “Vision 2040” stated that in leading regions like Delhi and Mumbai even the second airports are likely to be saturated by 2040 and will require a third airport.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2019 07:31 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi,Mumbai,airports
At least 31 cities in India will have two airports by 2040 while Delhi and Mumbai will have a third airport by then, according to a vision document released by the ministry of civil aviation on Tuesday. (PTI)

At least 31 cities in India will have two airports by 2040 while Delhi and Mumbai will have a third airport by then, according to a vision document released by the ministry of civil aviation on Tuesday.

The report released at Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai says most of the large Indian airports are expected to be saturated over the next 10-15 years.

Hindustan Times had on November 1 reported that at least 20 cities in India would require a second airport by 2030, quoting the initial findings of a study by the civil aviation ministry.

“ In leading regions like Delhi and Mumbai even the second airports are likely to be saturated by 2040 and will require a third airport. India’s commercial airline fleet is likely to grow from 622 in March 2018 to around 2,359 in March 2040 ,” said a civil aviation ministry official, quoting the “Vision 2040” document released by the ministry.

“India may have around 190-200 operational airports in 2040. The incremental land requirement is expected to be around 150,000 acres and the capital investment (not including cost of acquiring land) is expected to be $40-50 billion,” the official added.

Read more| India to add 1,000 aircraft in 7-8 years: Government official

The report says that the total capital expenditure for brownfield [upgrading existing projects] and greenfield [new projects] capacity expansion in India until 2040 is conservatively expected to be in the range of $40-50 billion.

Another civil aviation ministry official said that the government may consider establishing a NABH Nirman Fund (NNF) with a starting corpus of around $2 billion to support low traffic airports in their initial phases. NABH stands for Next Generation Airports for Bharat. The concept of land pooling may be used to keep land acquisition costs low and to provide landowners with high value developed plots in the vicinity of the airports.

HT had reported that Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Patna, Kolkata and Bengaluru are among cities that will need a second airport by 2030. By 2035, more cities will join this list. The ministry will now write to respective state governments, sharing the information and asking them to identify land for a new airport at least five years before the airport reaches its capacity.

India’s airports currently handle 183.90 million passengers a year, according to the 2017-18 data released by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The number has grown in recent years — from 134.98 million in 2015-16 to 158.43 million in 2016-17.

Read more| India’s air passenger traffic to touch 1.1 bn in 2040, says MoCA vision document

This year, it is expected to cross 200 million. Some of the bigger airports are already operating in excess of their capacity. For instance, the Delhi airport handled 63.5 million passengers in 2017, and is expected to reach 70 million this year and will start operating beyond its capacity. It is also among the busiest airports worldwide, according to Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the airport authorities.

“It is good that ministry has kept 2040 in mind as aviation infrastructure should last generations. The way growth is going, Mumbai will need third airport and they should start thinking about it now,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO & director of CAPA South Asia, which provides market intelligence for the aviation and travel industry.

India will also have a robust commercial aircraft manufacturing ecosystem with global collaboration. It will meet at least 70% of the country’s commercial aircraft demand and also export to other countries.

First Published: Jan 16, 2019 07:30 IST