The land required for Jewar Airport on Yamuna Expressway near Noida can be acquired in six months after the Centre clears the project, CEO of Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) Arun Vir Singh said.
He said after the acquisition, the authority will be able to build the airport in three years. YEIDA, he said, has written to the civil aviation ministry seeking permission for the project.
In 2001, Rajnath Singh, then UP chief minister, first proposed an airport at Jewar. Mayawati, too, pursued the project after she became chief minister in 2007, but failed to make any headway because there was a distance clause which prevented setting up a new airport within 150km of IGIA. Jewar is about 100km from IGIA.
Arun Vir Singh said this clause has been dropped in the new aviation policy, making an airport at Jewar possible.
In fact, two airports at Amarawati and Vijayawada are now being developed just 80km of each other.
But what really tilted the scales in favour of Jewar airport is chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath’s push. Within days of taking over, he asked his officials to go ahead and draw up plans and take the Centre’s permission.
The Center is likely to go along with the proposal as Gautam Budh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma, who is the Union culture and tourism minister, had said a number of times that he favored a new airport to come up at Jewar.
But the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government had been dragging its feet. His government tried to find out some alternate site for the purpose. But that did not work out.YEIDA boss Singh said around 5,000 hectare (12,500 acre) area has been notified for the airport. But the immediate requirement of land will be around 1,200 hectare (3,000 acre).
GMR, which operates the IGI airport, will get the first right of refusal to build the Jewar airport because of the terms accepted by the government while giving it the contract to modernise and expand IGIA. The airport will provide a huge impetus to development in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, East Delhi and areas on the Yamuna Expressway till Aligarh, Mathura and Agra. Because of the Yamuna Expressway, the driving time to Mathura and Aligarh is about 75 minutes. CREDAI chairman and CMD of ATS Infrastructure Getamber Anand said the new airport will create huge job opportunity in the region and will drive all round development.