How many airports are there in Maharashtra

India is expanding its airport infrastructure

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. According to the forecast of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the number of passengers is expected to quadruple to 1.1 billion travelers annually by 2040. Indian airports can currently handle around 360 million passengers a year. In order to be able to cope with the increasing number of passengers, India has to increase the capacities at its 100 airports and build another 100 completely new airports. The Ministry of Aviation puts the investment requirement for the next 20 years at at least 50 billion US dollars (US $).

The majority of the investments will come from the private sector. Indian civil engineering groups such as GMR, GVK and Larsen & Toubro want to increase their involvement in airport construction and operation. The Indian aviation market is also interesting for international airport operators and investors. With Fraport, a German company is one of the pioneers: Since 2006, the Frankfurt-based company has held a 10 percent stake in the Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) consortium, which operates the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

With a current handling capacity of 75 million passengers, the capital's airport is India's largest airport - and will soon reach its limits with almost 70 million guests in 2018. For this reason, the airport will be expanded significantly by 2022. In the next three years, the airport operator DIAL plans to build a fourth runway and increase the number of parking bays from 55 to 82. This should almost double the capacity of the airport to 140 million passengers. The Indian infrastructure group Larsen & Toubro was awarded the contract for the US $ 1.4 billion construction project.

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Zurich Airport is building second airport in India's capital region

But even after the expansion of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, airport capacities in the capital region with an estimated 50 million residents are likely to become scarce in the long term. Therefore, another major airport is to be built around 40 kilometers away in Greater Noida (state of Uttar Pradesh). The contract for the mammoth project was surprisingly won by Flughafen Zürich AG in November 2019, which was able to prevail against local heavyweights such as the Adani Group and the DIAL operating consortium.

Starting in 2024, "Jewar Airport" will be able to handle 12 million passengers a year. The airport's capacity is then to be gradually expanded to 70 million travelers by 2040. Flughafen Zürich AG puts the cost of the project at a total of 3.7 billion euros. The Swiss have been granted a concession to build and operate for over 40 years. The award was made on the basis of a revenue share per passenger. Here Zurich Airport was in some cases significantly ahead of the other bidders at the equivalent of 50 euros.

Construction of the second international airport in Mumbai is delayed

In the Indian metropolis of Mumbai, the construction of a second airport has been in the starting blocks for years. The existing Mumbai International Airport has already exceeded its capacity limit with a load factor of 104 percent. The planned Navi Mumbai International Airport could handle 20 million travelers annually from 2024. After the last expansion phase, the airport will have a capacity of 60 million passengers. However, there are problems with the acquisition of land, which could delay completion further.

The project is being implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP) with the participation of the infrastructure group GVK and the investment authority of Maharashtra, City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO; https://cidco.maharashtra.gov.in). The cost of the airport with two runways is estimated at US $ 2.3 billion. In other large cities such as Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad - which now operates at 134 percent of its capacity - there are long-term plans for the construction of a second airport. In the case of New Delhi and Mumbai, a third airport for the period after 2040 is already being discussed.

India wants to privatize more regional airports

Not only in the big cities, but also in the around 50 "smaller" metropolises with 1 million to 5 million inhabitants, the airports urgently need to be modernized and expanded. In order to better connect these regions to air traffic, the government launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme (Hindi: UDAN) in 2016. The aim is to expand existing regional airports with the help of the private sector and to reopen closed airports for flight operations.

So far, a total of 104 airports have been reopened or expanded. The program is to be expanded to a further 100 regional airports by 2025. By the end of the financial year 2023/24 (April 1 to March 31), the equivalent of 3.2 billion euros in public funds will be available for this. Most of the airports are owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI; http://www.aai.aero). The state airport operator wants to partially privatize further airports in the context of PPP in the coming years. At the end of November 2019, AAI announced that it would tender six more airports - Varanasi, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Trichy, Indore and Raipur.

Air freight terminals are reaching their capacity limits

But not only is the number of passengers growing, more and more freight is also being transported by air. By 2040, the air freight volume is expected to increase from 3.6 million tons in the financial year 2018/19 to 17 million tons. Accordingly, the capacities at the airports have to be expanded and new air cargo hubs developed. The air freight terminals in New Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Surat are to be expanded over the next few years. The construction of a completely new cargo terminal is planned in Trivandrum, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala. The cost of the project is 13 million euros.

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