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The long-awaited addition of Navi Mumbai International Airport to ease the burden of air traffic of Mumbai Airport finally became a reality with Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone on 18 February 2018.

The project worth Rs 16,000 crore, put on the fast track, will be an alternative to the existing Mumbai Airport. GVK Power and Infrastructure (GVKPIL) bagged the rights to develop the airport in February 2017.

The airport being developed on public-private-partnership (PPP) mode will have equity of 74 percent by the Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) and 13 percent by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) too will hold 13 percent.

London-based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has been entrusted with designing of Navi Mumbai International Airport’s Terminal-1 and ATC Tower. ZHA has a portfolio of designing over 950 projects across 44 nations. This is the company’s first major project in the Indian sub-continent.

The airport will be developed in phases over 1,160 ha. The pre-construction work worth Rs 2,000 crore includes cutting of Ulwe hills, diversion of Gadi river and laying overhead high-tension wires underground.

The master plan includes two parallel runways of 3.7 km length each and a centrally located terminal building for domestic and international flights. It will have a parking capacity for 104 aircraft. The airport will also have 81 contact gates and 29 remote parking stands.

Once completed, the airport will cater to 60 million passengers per year. The flight operations are expected to begin by the end of 2021.

The initial concession period is 30 years from the appointed date which is extendable for a further 10 years.

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