Second airport in NCR not cleared yet, says minister

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The government has not yet cleared a proposal for building a new airport in the national capital region (NCR), said a minister on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma clarified to parliament during the question hour that the proposal for constructing a new airport at Jewar in Greater Noida has not been cleared yet.

According to the minister, according to the existing guidelines, a greenfield facility cannot come up within an aerial distance of 150 km of an existing airport.

“However, in case there is a need to set up a greenfield airport within an aerial distance of 150 km of an existing civilian airport, such cases shall be placed before the union cabinet for consideration,” the minister informed the Rajya Sabha.

The proposed new airport is supposed to come up in the next three to four years on an area spanning 2,200 acres at Jewar in Greater Noida.

On June 25, the minister announced that such a proposal has been forwarded by the civil aviation ministry to the union cabinet.

However, the proposal has come under fire as detractors claim that the existing Indira Gandhi International Airport, which can handle 62.5 million passengers per year, still has ample land and underutilised capacity. The airport handled a traffic of 40.9 million in 2014-15.

The maximum capacity of the airport, if further expanded, can reach 100 million passengers.

The airport also has a capacity to handle 1.5 million tonnes of cargo, whereas it actually handled only 0.7 million tonnes in 2014-15.

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