Navi Mumbai International Airport project finally takes off as all hurdles cleared
The much-delayed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) project has finally taken off with prominent hurdles being cleared. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) is targeting the end of 2024 for the first phase of the airport to be ready as the developmental work for the project has begun.
The project is coming up on 2,268ha of land of which the actual airport would be built on 1,160 ha. The project is expected to cost ₹16,700Cr.
The project has been taken over by Adani group recently. The project had been facing issues of land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement due to opposition from the locals for years. The Adani group concessionaire had demanded that the entire project land be handed over to it before it starts the actual development.
Shifting the villages was a major task for CIDCO. Ten villages falling in the core airport area had to be shifted with 3,000 families affected. A record 22.5% developed land compensation and other incentives were offered to the PAPs. There were also issues of environmental and other permissions from the Central and State Governments due to the delay in the project and also change in the concessionaire, which required new permissions.
CIDCO said all these issues have now been resolved.
CIDCO vice-chairman and managing director, Sanjay Mukherjee, said, “CIDCO and NMIAL have put in Herculean efforts for putting this project on track. We are very pleased that the project that was first conceived in 1997 has finally taken off full throttle. Land acquisition, rehabilitation and also predevelopment civil works have all been completed by CIDCO. This is one of the most important steps towards successful execution of the project.”
He added that NMIAL has obtained all clearances and financial closure has been achieved. Mukherjee added, “CIDCO has handed over the site to NMIAL, which has commenced the work of the airport in full steam.”
Tata Projects Ltd. (TPL) this week emerged as the preferred bidder among 3 firms for the civil construction work of Noida International Airport at Jewar, Uttar Pradesh. Phase 1 of Noida Airport, located south-east of Delhi, envisions a 90,000 Sqm Terminal 1 building, 4150m x 45m Code ‘E’ runway (
Delhi's IGI Airport becomes 2nd busiest airport in the world, beats Dubai International Airport
Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has been ranked the world's second busiest airport in March 2022 in terms of domestic and international flights handled, as per a study by Official Airline Guide (OAG), a global travel data provider. The GMR-run airport was ranked at the third spot as per OAG in February 2022 and trumped the Dubai International Airport (DXB) to gain a spot in the ranking.
United States' Atlanta airport was ranked as the busiest airport in the world and retained its top spot. "Whilst Atlanta retains its position as largest, Dubai is knocked out of second place this month (March) by Delhi which moves up from third place last month (February)," the OAG's report mentioned.
Interestingly, the Delhi airport was ranked on the 23rd place in March 2019 before the pandemic, and has jumped 21 spots to reach the position. In March this year, airports in Atlanta in the US, Delhi in India and Dubai in the UAE handled 4.42 million, 3.61 million and 3.55 million seats, it mentioned.
In a statement, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL), said, "COVID-19 pandemic had hit the world hard. Travel restrictions had badly affected the travel and tourism sectors for two consecutive years." But now, with the rise in the number of vaccinated people across the world, governments are easing travel restrictions and slowly opening up their borders, he said.
"India has last month opened its borders and allowed the entry of fully vaccinated international travellers into the country," he said.
These steps have largely helped the travel and tourism industry and given a much-needed boost to air travel, he said.
Home Ministry grants security clearance to Jet Airways
Union home ministry has granted security clearance to Jet Airways that is planning to relaunch commercial flight operations in the next few months, according to an official document.
The Jalan-Kalrock Consortium is currently the promoters of Jet Airways. The airline in its old avatar was owned by Naresh Goyal and had operated its last flight on April 17, 2019.
Last Thursday, the airline conducted its test flight to and from the Hyderabad airport in a step towards obtaining the air operator certificate.
A letter sent by the civil aviation ministry to the airline on May 6 informed it about the grant of the security clearance by the Union home ministry.
The letter, which has been accessed by PTI, said, it is “directed to refer to your application… to convey security clearance for change in shareholding pattern of the company/firm, for scheduled operator permit, on the basis of security clearance received from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.
Last Thursday’s test flight was conducted to prove to aviation regulator DGCA that the aircraft and its components are operating normally.
After the test flight on Thursday, the airline has to conduct proving flights after which the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will grant the air operator certificate.
Proving flights are similar to commercial flight with DGCA officials and airline officials as passengers and cabin crew members on board.
Tata group's Air India takeover worries Singapore's antitrust body, Says move could limit competition on India-Singapore routes
The antitrust regulator of Singapore has raised concern over the Tata group’s acquisition of Air India, saying it could limit competition on the India-Singapore air routes.
The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has sought certain commitments from the Tatas to address the concerns and has decided to review the transaction in “further detail”, it said on Friday.
The Tata group, which owns a majority stake in Vistara – its joint venture with Singapore Airlines, completed the acquisition of Air India on January 27. Both airlines operate on the Mumbai-Singapore and Delhi-Singapore routes and also carry cargo between the two countries.
Singapore Airlines is a significant competitor to both Air India and Vistara on these routes. The regulator said it received an application from the Tata group for a decision on whether the acquisition infringes Singapore’s law, which prohibits declared or potential mergers that lessen
The CCCS said it needs to assess further the extent to which Singapore Airlines competes with the “merged entity” on these routes, given that it is a joint venture partner with Tata Sons in Vistara and a prospective partner with Vistara in the commercial cooperation framework agreement
“The CCCS also needs to assess further whether the competitive constraint from other airlines such as IndiGo would be sufficient post transaction,” it said.
“The regulator would like to ascertain that the acquisition of Air India does not lead to appreciable adverse effect on competition and that is why the Tata group has been asked to make certain commitments,” a lawyer remarked.
Tata Sons did not comment.
Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan was earlier quoted as saying that the airline functions as a separate entity and treats Air India as a competitor. “We will be keeping an arm’s length (from Air India) on issues that are customer-friendly or commercially sensitive,” he had said in February.
Mayur Patel, regional sales director of aviation data analytics firm OAG, believes the acquisition will not pose threat to competition.
“Based on the schedule capacity data for the May 2022 period, it can be concluded that the capacity share of the merged entity of Air India, Air India Express and Vistara would be 20 per cent, which should not pose any anti-competitive threat to the India-Singapore market. On the other hand, IndiGo has a capacity share of 15 per cent on the country pair during the same period,” Patel said.
Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) has introduced AI-driven, assistance robots to enhance the passenger experience. Currently, at the trial stage, 10 robots have been deployed at the airport to help guide passengers through the airport and answer basic queries, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The robot count will be increased in a calibrated manner and further developed over a period in terms of functionality and features, after gauging customer feedback, it said. BLR Airport has partnered with Artiligent Solutions Pvt. Ltd. — specialists in AI and Robotics — to model the robots along with creating a customised passenger services software. The default language of communication will be English, with additional regional and international languages in the offing, the airport said.
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