04 December 2015

The Times Of India

Dholera airport gets eco clearance

AHMEDABAD: The much-awaited international airport at Dholera is now inching closer to becoming a reality. The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has recently accorded environment clearance to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for developing greenfield international airport at Dholera, which will act as a major transport link for the industries coming up in the 920 sq km Dholera special investment region (SIR).

Spread across 1,426 hectares, the proposed airport will be established in Ahmedabad district's Navagam village, which is 15 km from Dholera. The project will be developed with an estimated Rs 1712 crore of investment in three phases. The first phase cost is around Rs 712 crore.

"The environment nod is a vital clearance required for the development of any airport. We will now seek Ministry of Civil Aviation's in-principal approval for the international airport," said Amit Chavda, general manager, Dholera International Airport Company Ltd (DIACL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by Gujarat government to develop the project.

Apart from Dholera SIR, the proposed airport will also cater to cities like Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Kheda and Anand. The airport, which was envisaged when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, will have two runways and two parallel taxiways. The terminal building, spanning 25,200 sq. mt. in phase-I, will have capacity for 600 domestic and 600 international passengers.

After the in-principal approval from ministry of civil aviation, a project management company (PMC) would be roped in, which will work out the details of the project execution.

To be developed on public private partnership, the airport also assumes significance as it will come up in Dholera SIR (DSIR), which is the biggest node of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) between Delhi and Mumbai covering a total length of 1,483-km and passing through six states.