Ahmedabad, Oct 6 (PTI) The ambitious Dholera international airport near Ahmedabad would become operational by 2024, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said on Wednesday.
"The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already started the work on the Dholera international airport. It will be operational by 2024. Dholera SIR, part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), is moving towards becoming a smart city," Patel said.
He was virtually addressing guests invited at the India Pavilion for a special session on the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the UAE.
AAI Chairman Sanjeev Kumar, who had joined virtually from New Delhi, said the construction work for the first phase of the international airport would begin in January 2022 as the tenders have already been floated.
"The AAI's role is to develop an international airport at Dholera in collaboration with the Gujarat government and the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT). We hope to start the construction from January 2022 and hope to finish the first phase by December 2024," Kumar said.
He said 3,500 acres of land needed for the project have already been made available by the Gujarat government.
"This land has been given on a long-term lease to the joint venture company. All approvals, including environmental clearance as well as the security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs, have already been acquired to start the work," the IAS officer said.
In the first phase, the AAI would develop a 3,200-metre long runway which will allow landing and take off of code-E type aircraft, he said, adding that in phase II, the runway would be extended to 3,800 metres.
"In the third phase, we will develop the third runway. Both the runways will be capable of parallel operations. When work on all the three phases completes, we can expect that 100 million passengers per annum can be catered through this airport. This airport can take care of long term needs of the Dholera Industrial city and neighbouring areas," he said.
The AAI chairman also said 12 aircraft can be parked at the airport. While the passenger terminal will be spread across 20,000 square metres, a cargo terminal will also be built in 3,000 square metres so that industries can directly export from here, he said.
He further said the Centre had decided to monetise 25 airports, which are among the 138 airports currently run by the AAI.
"Under the national asset monetisation pipeline scheme of the Centre, we will be involving private partners in operating 25 airports in the next 3 years.
"So in a way, we will be monetising those airports, and resources generated from those airports will be used to develop airports in areas which are not connected by air with other parts of the country," he said. PTI PJT NSK ABM