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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Noida International Airport: A Comprehensive Update on Progress and Future Plans

The ambitious Noida International Airport (NIA) is rapidly taking shape, with the CEO, Christoph Schnellmann, providing a detailed update on the construction milestones and future plans for this critical infrastructure project. As of now, the final floor level of the passenger terminal is in progress, marking a significant step toward the airport’s operational readiness.

Construction Milestones

Schnellmann highlighted key achievements, stating that the air traffic control (ATC) tower has successfully reached its full height of 38 meters. Simultaneously, the runway construction is underway, with an expected completion date of March 2024. These developments are crucial as they pave the way for the handover of the airport to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the installation of navigation systems and other essential equipment.

Despite concerns over environmental issues in the National Capital Region (NCR), NIA’s construction remains exempt from restrictions imposed by the graded response action plan (GRAP). This exemption ensures that the airport project stays on schedule, aiming for operational readiness by the end of the next calendar year.

Infrastructure and Connectivity

NIA’s Phase-I, set to open in December, boasts a passenger capacity of 1.2 crore annually. The 20m-wide promenade along the coastal road will be the city’s longest, featuring a bicycle track, an open-air theatre, and an underground car park. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is actively working on an interchange connecting the airport site to the Yamuna Expressway.

Several connectivity modes, including train, metro, and rapid rail, are in the planning stages, with the government focusing on independent road connectivity from the east to segregate cargo and industrial traffic from passengers. A multi-modal station near the car parking area is earmarked to provide comprehensive connectivity.

Commercial and Hospitality Developments

Contracts for food and beverage, retail outlets, and a flight kitchen have either been awarded or are in the final stages of approval. Notable collaborations include TajSats for the flight kitchen and Roseate Hotels and Resorts for a hotel located meters from the terminal. The airport’s unique features will include body scanners and 3D computed tomography X-ray (CTX) machines for enhanced security during cabin bag checks.

Environmental Considerations and Airspace Coordination

Schnellmann addressed environmental concerns, stating that the construction remains unaffected despite the GRAP restrictions. The airport’s airspace coordination with the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is underway, emphasizing safety as the top priority. An obstacle survey for the flight path is being conducted to ensure seamless operations in the shared airspace.

As the Noida International Airport project progresses, it not only aims to become a significant transportation hub but also prioritizes environmental sustainability, passenger convenience, and collaboration with existing aviation infrastructure in the region. The comprehensive development plan includes a holistic approach to connectivity, commercial ventures, and state-of-the-art security measures, ensuring that NIA becomes a benchmark for modern airport facilities in India.

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