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PM inaugurates Jewar airport, know all about this Asia’s biggest air station

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 25 laid the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport (NIA), near Jewar in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar district. Once operational, this will be UP’s fifth international airport – the most of any state.

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Located at a distance of about 72 km from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport, the new airport (NIA) will be Asia’s largest after its completion, according to officials. It will be about 40 km from Noida. Fully operational, the Noida International Airport is expected to serve around 1.2 crore passengers per year, with Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Agra, Faridabad, and nearby areas set to benefit. It will also decongest traffic in and around IGI airport, the centre has said.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has claimed the Noida airport will be Asia’s largest and will generate employment opportunities for more than one lakh people.

The first phase of the development of the airport is being done at a cost of over Rs 10,050 crore. It will be spread over 1,300 hectares and work on the first (of four) phases is due to be over by 2024 – when the Lok Sabha election will be held.

Uttar Pradesh has eight operational airports at present, including international airports in Lucknow and Varanasi (Prime Minister Modi’s constituency). A third was inaugurated at Kushinagar (a Buddhist pilgrimage site) last month and a fourth – in the temple town of Ayodhya – which the BJP has grand plans to convert into a tourist hub.

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The construction of this airport comes just weeks after the prime minister inaugurated the Kushinagar international airport in Uttar Pradesh to boost the country’s aviation sector. Another international airport is presently under-construction in Ayodhya.

The airport, however, has run into controversy over protests from farmers whose lands had been acquired for construction. They have camped in tents 700 metres from the airport. A local BJP MLA admitted land had been acquired in a hurry.

Connectivity will be handled by a “multimodal transit hub” with metro and high-speed rail, as well as taxi and bus, services. Noida and Delhi will be linked via “hassle-free metro services” and major roads will link the airport to other cities, the centre said.

NIA will be executed by international bidder Zurich Airport International AG as concessionaire, as per reports.

The cargo terminal will have a capacity of 20 lakh metric tonnes, that can be expanded to 80 lakh metric tonnes. The airport, the centre said, would facilitate “seamless movement of industrial products” and help boost industrial growth in the region. Billed as India’s first ‘net zero emissions’ airport, its land has been earmarked to be developed as a forest park using trees from the project site.

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“The design of the airport focuses on the convenience of passengers. Processes at the airport will be digitally enabled. We’re working towards being a net-zero carbon emission airport and aim to be operational by September or October 2024,” Kiran Jain, the chief operating officer of the airport, said.

A day before inauguration, the PM had tweeted from his official Twitter handle, “25th November is a major day for India’s and Uttar Pradesh’s strides in infra creation. At 1 pm the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport will be laid. This project will significantly boost commerce, connectivity and tourism”.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the centre said the development of the airport was in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of creating a “future-ready aviation sector”. The centre also claimed “special focus” on UP – which will hold elections next year, with the BJP bidding to retain control of the key state ahead of the 2024 general election.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came to the Jewar site to review preparations, ahead of PM Modi’s visit for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the airport.

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