Aviation ministry considers eight new aiports for major cities

A senior official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said that airports of metro cities are generally using their full capacity during peak demand periods.

NEW DELHI: Most of India’s major airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and others are either running on full flying capacity or are nearing saturation.

Seeing the steady growth in air traffic, the government has planned second airports across eight major cities. 

A senior official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said that airports of metro cities are generally using their full capacity during peak demand periods.

Only during off-hours (mostly during late-night), are airports operating below capacity. 

A case in point is the Mumbai airport, which is using its full capacity almost throughout the day with daily movement of nearly 950 which is near its full capacity. 

Similarly, Bengaluru is also running with full capacity during peak demand periods with total daily movement of 640 flights.

The national capital Delhi’s runway is near saturation.

Total runway capacity is about 1350 movements against the actual of 1287 movement per day.

Kolkata is using its main runway slightly below full capacity, with total movement being 437 movements per day.

Down South, Chennai is operating slightly below full capacity during peak demand with a total movement of 469 per day.

Hyderabad is also using its full capacity during peak demand hours with total 492 movements per day.

Due to the double-digit growth in passenger traffic and the existing airports in metro cities nearing saturation, Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted in-principle approval for setting up second airports in cities of Delhi-Jewar, Mumbai-Navi Mumbai, Goa-Mopa, Vizag-Bhogapuram, Pune-Purandar, Ahmedabad-Dholera, Patna-Bihta and Rajkot-Hirasar. 

Moreover, Central Government has requested Government of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal to identify suitable land for second airports for Chennai and Kolkata which are likely to reach saturation within the next few years. 

A total of 136 airports are owned and managed by the Airport Authority of India and out of these, 32 airports are non-operational. 

Officials said that development and upgradation of airports is a continuous process which depends on the traffic demand, availability of land and resources, environment clearance, approval from the regulatory authorities, removal of obstructions, etc. 

The construction of airports they said depends upon many factors such as land acquisition, availability of mandatory clearances which is a lengthy and time-consuming process.

Ministry of Civil Aviation has taken various steps to create additional airport infrastructure in the country including the metro cities with the assistance of various state governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and other airport operators. 

This includes modernisation and capacity expansion of the existing airports and revival of unserved and under-served airports within the vicinity.

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