India’s financial capital is to get its much-needed and long-delayed second airport by 2015.
The airport at Navi Mumbai – a planned city northeast of the Mumbai – has been held up by environmental concerns. However, India's Minister of Environment and Forests has now given it the green light following a political compromise which will promises the new airport will have an ecological and energy-efficient design.
The new airport will have two runways and is expected to handle 10 million passengers in its first year of operation. By 2030 it will reach 40 million passengers.
The good news for flyers is Navi Mumbai will take the pressure off Chhatrapati Shivaji and should mean fewer delays. The bad news is the journey from the city to the new airport can take up to three hours – especially from the area south of the city where most business leaders live.
The first phase of the new airport will be built by 2014 or 2015, according to the government. Mumbai’s existing Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport, which is the busiest airport in South Asia, has no room to expand in order to cope with growing traffic demands.
The state government has already banned new commercial flights from Chhatrapati Shivaji, which is expected to reach its capacity of 30 million passengers annually by 2013.