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Wednesday, 03 May, 2017, 13 : 30 PM [IST]

First phase of Navi Mumbai airport to be ready by 2020

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) expects the first phase of the much delayed Navi Mumbai airport to take off by 2020, reducing some of the pressure on the Mumbai airport, reports Mint. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India said that a runway and terminal building should come up at the Navi Mumbai airport by 2020. Sinha was addressing the CII Annual Session 2017 in the capital where he stressed the Ministry was taking steps to beef up infrastructure. Several airports will be modernised over the coming year with funds allocated by the Ministry of Finance and Airports Authority of India.

The Mumbai airport at present is choked and airlines continuously complain of no slots and aircraft parking. Flights also have to hold over Mumbai airport sometimes, leading to frustrated passengers.

Sinha said there were several reasons why the airport was taking long to come up, including the fact that the area where the airport will come up is marshy. “It will take significant amount of time to resolve the issues. We also need to accelerate and expedite the process as much as possible,” he said.

MoCA also plans to have a second round of bidding for airlines for routes under the government’s regional air connectivity scheme, UDAN, soon. This could be completed in the next three months, Sinha said at a press conference the same evening.

The regional aviation scheme, which will be in operation for 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served cities and towns by reviving existing airstrips and airports. This would be achieved by providing financial stimulus in the form of central and state government concessions, as well as viability gap funding for interested airlines to kick off operations while ensuring passenger fares are kept affordable. (Source: Mint)

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