IGI Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New DelhiREUTERS/B Mathur

The ministry of civil aviation on Friday cleared a proposal to set up a greenfield airport in Greater Noida's Jewar region. The airport, which would be the second one for Delhi, is likely to start operations in the next five to six years.

Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Twitter that "in-principle clearance has been granted" for the airport. He added that the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has notified 3,000 hectares of land for a world-class international airport.

"We have granted in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar (Greater Noida) to cater to the growing flying requirements of NCR. NOIDA International Airport will cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years. The area notified for Noida Airport is 3000 ha; 1st phase will be developed for 1,000 ha. We expect Rs 15,000-20,000 crores of investment," Raju said in a series of tweets.

The civil aviation minister told reporters that they were "expecting 91 million passengers by 2020 and 109 million passengers by 2024" in Delhi. Terminals at the current Delhi airport can handle 62 million passengers annually.

"We thank the central government for giving approval for an airport in Jewar. Jewar airport will be the cargo hub of the country apart from catering to domestic and international traffic," Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddharth Nath Singh told the media on Saturday.

The plan to build a second airport in Jewar was first submitted by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati in 2002. The then government had asked the ministry of civil aviation to technically evaluate the project on the outskirts of Greater Noida. The Airports Authority of India had then sent a team to carry out a technical analysis of the area for aircraft and land.

After coming to power, the new government is batting for more infrastructure in the state. in April, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had asked officers to work on building airports in Agra and Jewar and hold discussions with the Centre on the matter, PTI had reported earlier.