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Gujarat may get a second international airport in Dholera

Livemint:  February 05, 2015

Mumbai: Gujarat may get a second international airport at Dholera, a port town in Gulf of Khambhat, as the airport in Ahmedabad is getting saturated.

The Gujarat government has formed Dholera International Airport Co. Ltd and is obtaining approvals from the Union government.

“It’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project,” said Amit Chavda, general manager, Dholera International Airport Co. Ltd. He was talking on the sidelines of a seminar organized by consulting firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa).

He said the international airport project was conceptualized when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat.

The airport company has selected 1,426 hectares of land at Vill Navagam taluk at Dholera and the ministry of aviation has approved the site.

“We have applied for in-principle approval from the ministry of civil aviation for the airport project. Japan International Cooperation Agency is preparing a detailed project survey,” Chavda said.

Chavda said the Ahmedabad airport will be saturated in the next five years as it cannot handle further increase in passenger demand despite incremental improvements in the terminal.

“The proposed airport is aiming at serving the spillover traffic from existing Ahmedabad airport and upcoming traffic from Dholera smart city,” he said. Dholera is about 100km from Ahmedabad.

Chavda said the proposed Dholera airport can cut travelling time for one-stop international operations.

“For instance, a one-stop in Dholera airport to connect Singapore from London Heathrow can save at least 322km compared to a London Heathrow-Singapore flight that is having one-stop in Dubai. Dholera airport is strategically positioned,” he said.

Mint could not independently verify the claims of Chavda about the savings in flight timings and saturation claims of Ahemedabad airport.

Dholera Internatioal Airport has plans to develop an airport through a private-public partnership. Chavda said the company is also keen to develop the airport on it own with two parallel runways that are capable of handling Airbus A380s, the largest civilian aircraft.

Air passenger traffic grew 9.7% last year, compared with 4.43% in 2013, when it had reversed the decline of 2012 that also marked the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

India’s scheduled airlines carried 67.73 million passengers in 2014 compared with 61.42 million passengers in 2013, 58.81 million in 2012 and 60.66 million in 2011, according to the DGCA. Air traffic in India grew at 20-40% for six years starting 2003, when low-fare airline Air Deccan was launched, making it possible for more people to travel by air.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

x IBEF : India Brand Equity Foundation