Mumbai Airport’s Rs 3,500 crore expansion plan will allow it to handle 50 lakh more passengers

Mumbai Airport's Rs 3,500 crore expansion plan will allow it to handle 50 lakh more passengers
Mumbai Airport (representational image. Courtesy: airflights.to)

Mumbai Airport has received environmental clearance for the Rs 3,500 crore expansion plan, which will allow it to ferry 50 million passengers by 2020, five million more than it handled in fiscal 2017.

According to a TOI report, the changes to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) will increase its passenger handling capacity to 50 million per year and take place over the next three years.

While arguing the case before the Union Environment Ministry, Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL) highlighted the city’s growing air traffic, overburdened infrastructure and the lack of an alternative till the new airport becomes functional.

Incidentally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the first flight from the upcoming airport in Navi Mumbai will take off in 2019, a year before the expansion plan is expected to complete.

The Rs 3,500 crore expansion plan reportedly entails:

* Construction of a new vehicle underpass below the secondary runway which will cut down the travel time between the two terminals, located 4 km apart, from 30 minutes to under 15 minutes.

* Shifting the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) to a more secure location in the southern part of the airport near Kalina. The state-of-the-art ATCT was constructed at a cost of Rs 125 crore and has been functional since four years.

* Reclaiming 20 acres of encroached airport land for building a new taxiway from the parking apron of Terminal T2 to the main runway, another taxiway to enhance airside safety and for building other facilities like aircraft parking, aerobridge etc.

* Building a bridge connecting the aircraft parking apron of T2 to taxiway leading to main runway and an additional holding area for aircrafts to reduce the gap between takeoffs.

The expansion plan received a nod from the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change last month.

However, since the plan involves relocation of thousands of slum dwellers, it has met with opposition from local residents and politicians.

The affected residents will be relocated to Kurla in accordance with the slum rehabilitation policy of the Maharashtra government for CSIA.

Mumbai also overtook London’s Gatwick Airport recently to became the world’s busiest single-runway airport, handling 45 million passengers in fiscal 2017.

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