Upscaling Infrastructure: Top airport projects

Top airport projects

With constrained airport capacity, the country is facing challenges in handling the steadily rising air traffic. As the country’s passenger traffic is projected to cross the 150 million mark in 2018-19, there is a pressing need to create additional capacity at Indian airports. At present, most metro airports are at the risk of saturation and many of the smaller airports are also operating beyond their design capacity. In this regard, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is taking steps to augment the existing infrastructure and develop greenfield airports.

India Infrastructure Research provides a detailed account of the top airport projects which are either completed, under construction or in the pipeline…

Key completed projects

A total of seven key airport infrastructure projects have been tracked, which were completed in the past one year. Among these is a terminal building at the existing Vijayawada airport in Andhra Pradesh. It was inaugurated on January 12, 2017 and has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 1.62 billion. In March 2017, a new international terminal (T3) was commissioned at the Cochin international airport. This modern terminal has been built at an investment of around Rs 10 billion and has the capacity to handle about 4,000 incoming and outgoing passengers during peak hours. Later, in September 2017, AAI commissioned a terminal building and apron at Belagavi airport in Karnataka at a cost of Rs 1.2 billion.

Two greenfield airports have also been commissioned – one at Shirdi, Maharashtra and the other at Kishangarh, Rajasthan. Shirdi airport (developed at an investment of around Rs 3.5 billion) was inaugurated on October 1, 2017, while the airport at Kishangarh (developed at a cost of Rs 1.35 billion) was inaugurated on October 11, 2017.

During fiscal year 2017-18, an international cargo terminal was inaugurated at Madurai airport. More recently, in December 2017, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) inaugurated the upgraded terminal building under the Hubli Airport Expansion Project, which is being developed at an investment of Rs 1.42 billion.

Projects under implementation

To accommodate the high footfalls, AAI is undertaking infrastructure development works at various airports, including the revival of unserved and underserved airports. India Infrastructure Research tracked 10 airport projects, each having an investment of over Rs 5 billion. These projects together involve an investment of Rs 517.95 billion.

State-wise, the highest investment has been allocated for Maharashtra at 218.27 billion, followed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh at Rs 148.67 billion and Rs 45.16 billion respectively.

Among the tracked projects, seven projects are being developed on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. These are the Navi Mumbai International Airport Project (Maharashtra), the Bengaluru International Airport Expansion Project, Phase II (Karnataka), the Bhogapuram Greenfield International Airport Project (Andhra Pradesh), the Mumbai Airport T2 Terminal Upgradation Project (Maharashtra), the Mopa International Airport Project (Goa), the Nagpur (MIHAN) International Airport Project (Maharashtra) and the Kannur International Airport Project (Kerala). Of these projects, the highest investment is lined up for the Navi Mumbai International Airport Project at Rs 167.04 billion.

Other key projects being executed by AAI include the Calicut (Kozhikode) Airport Modernisation Project worth Rs 12 billion in Kerala, the Pakyong Greenfield Airport Project worth Rs 6.06 billion in Sikkim and the Guwahati Airport Expansion Project worth Rs 6 billion in Assam. Recently, in January 2018, the MoCA laid the foundation stone for a new terminal building at Guwahati airport and work is expected to commence soon. For Pakyong airport, all the infrastructure is in place, X-ray machines and other equipment have been installed, and AAI is awaiting a final clearance to commence commercial operations.

Key planned projects

India Infrastructure Research tracked 19 projects which are at various stages of planning. These projects together entail an investment of Rs 585.63 billion. State-wise, the highest investment has been planned for Uttar Pradesh at Rs 213.83 billion. This is followed by Delhi and Gujarat at Rs 160 billion and Rs 37 billion respectively.

In terms of projects, the maximum investment has been earmarked for the Jewar Greenfield Airport Project in Uttar Pradesh at around Rs 200 billion, followed by the Delhi Airport Expansion Project entailing an investment of Rs 160 billion. For the Jewar greenfield airport, the central government gave in-principle approval in July 2017. The project will be developed by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) in four phases. At present, detailed project report (DPR) preparation is under way. Construction work is expected to start by December 2018. It will have four runways to cater to 30 million-50 million passengers per annum and is expected to be operational by 2022.

Other greenfield airport projects which have been planned include Hassan airport (Rs 30 billion) and the Dholera international airport (Rs 25 billion), among others. The Rajkot Greenfield Airport Project is another project planned in Gujarat. In October 2017, the foundation stone was laid, following which the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granted environmental clearance. The airport will be developed by Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Limited at an estimated cost of Rs 12 billion.

Meanwhile, another project in the pipeline is the Purandar International Greenfield Airport Project in Pune worth Rs 10 billion. The project is awaiting final clearance from the Indian Air Force for its execution.


Although many important projects are in the pipeline, issues such as land acquisition, clearances, etc. remain to be tackled so as to ensure their smooth implementation.