MoCA proposes 6 ‘Twin City’ airports by 2030
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in India is pursuing a project to develop six ‘Twin City’ airports by 2030 as part of a strategy to alleviate congestion in existing major city airports. Twin City airports are a unique concept where two airports serve neighboring cities or closely located urban areas.
This proposal has been shared with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and a steering committee on greenfield airports led by the Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The aim is to evaluate and implement this plan.
The ‘Twin City’ airport development plan has already been initiated in regions such as Delhi-National Capital Region, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), and Goa. For example, the Noida International Airport in Uttar Pradesh will complement the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, while the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport will complement the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in mainland Mumbai. Similarly, the recently operationalised Manohar International Airport at Mopa complements Dabolim airport in Goa.
The plan envisions six such Twin City airports by 2030, 15 by 2040, and possibly over 30 by 2047.
Additionally, several state governments, including Tamil Nadu, are seeking permissions to set up new greenfield airports alongside their major cities. These initiatives are driven by the increasing demand for air travel, both domestic and international, which has led to expansions and capacity increases at major airports. However, many of these larger airports are expected to reach their peak handling capacity in the near future, necessitating new airports in their vicinity to accommodate future traffic projections.
For instance, the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is expected to reach its peak capacity, handling nearly 110 million passengers annually, within the next decade, highlighting the need for a second airport in the National Capital Region. The first phase of the Noida International Airport is planned to have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually, with potential growth to 70 million passengers per annum by 2050.
Likewise, the first phase of the Navi Mumbai International Airport is set to open for air traffic by 2024 and is expected to significantly increase passenger handling capacity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This expansion aims to address the growing demand for air travel in the region.