Airport [Representational Image]Twitter

A decision of the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet to award the project for building the country's biggest airport proposed at Jewar on the outskirts of the National Capital may deter the owners of the Indira Gandhi International Airport from claiming the project. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) of the GMR Group, whose bid for building the new airport in Budh Nagar district was among those which lost to Zurich, however, has the 'first right of refusal' to the airport, reports say.

Highest bidder

The original deal signed between the GMR Group and the Union government for building the airport in Delhi contained the clause that the group would have the right to take any new airport project within a 200km radius by matching the highest bidder, observers say. Jewar is only 100km from the Delhi airport giving the GMR Group the first right of refusal.

The Cabinet has approved Zurich Airport International as the developer for Jewar airport."

The Swiss airport company that runs airports in several countries and has a minority stake in the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) beat a strong field that included DIAL, Adani Group and Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holding. The Adani Group has won bids to run six airports including in the state capitals of Ahmedabad, Lucknow, and Thiruvananthapuram.

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved Zurich Airport International as the developer for the first phase of the Jewar airport on the recommendations of the Project Monitoring and Implementation Committee (PMIC). A PTI report said that confirming the development, Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi said, "The Cabinet has approved Zurich Airport International as the developer for Jewar airport."

Zurich Airport International AG
A promotional programme at Zurich Airport. The Uttar Pradesh government has chosen the Swiss company as the developer for the first phase of the Jewar Airport on the outskirts of the National Capital Region.Zurich Airport/twitter

When completed, the Jewar airport will be the third airport to serve the Delhi National Capital Region after IGI Airport and Hindon airport, which is a hub for the UDAAN scheme that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched for linking underserved and unserved sectors at subsidized rates.

Zurich Airport International AG is a subsidiary of Flughafen Zurich AG, which, apart from having a stake in the BIAL, runs Switzerland's largest airport at Zurich, and has the provincial government of the Zurich Swiss canton and Zurich City as major shareholders. The company owns 100 per cent of Brazil's Hercílio Luz International Airport under a concession that will end only in and 2047. It has acquired stakes in Belo Horizonte Colombian capital Bogota, Curacao, Antofagasta, and Iquiquealso. It is in the process of acquiring concessions in more airports in Latin America

The first phase of the Jewar airport would be spread over 1,334 hectares and is expected to be completed by 2023, an earlier report said citing officials of the Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL), the nodal agency for the airport project. The airport is expected to have a final capital outlay of Rs 29,560 crores and will eventually have six to eight runways.