First flight from Navi Mumbai airport likely in 2021: Aviation secretary
Although chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) will be inaugurated in 2019, aviation secretary RN Choubey on Tuesday said it will take another three years for the first flight to take off from the airport. Choubey was speaking at an aviation summit held in Delhi
He said, “We are optimistic that it [airport] will be operational by September 2021. We are trying to push for an earlier deadline.”
In March, Fadnavis had told the assembly that first terminal of NMIA and runway was expected to be ready by the end of 2019. He made the statement while replying to supplementaries put up by Jayant Patil (NCP), to the main question raised by Prithviraj Chavan (Congress).
Officials privy to the development said along with Ulwe river diversion, hill blasting for levelling of land is underway. “The issue of land acquisition is being worked on. Around 40% of the villagers have vacated, and the remaining villagers are expected to move out of their ancestral villages after Ganeshotsav.”
The NMIA is being constructed after the city’s Chhatrapati International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (CSIA) was declared saturated, with hardly any slots for additional flights. This is because the city airport has cross runways and can operate flights only on one runway at a time. The Mumbai airport handles over 48 flight movements per hour and has broken records of handing over 1000 flights in 24 hours, which is maximum number of flights handled by any single runway airport.