Published On: Mon, Mar 11th, 2024

The famous city with so many tourists it’s been forced to build huge new £1.6bn airport | Travel News | Travel

Cities don’t get much busier or much more manic than ’s throbbing finance capital Mumbai. The sixth-most populous metropolitan area in the world, it is bursting at the seams with a population of more than 23 million.

Then there’s the 6 milion tourists who visit every year, making it one of the world’s 30 most visited ciities by holidaymakers. So it’s no surprise that Mumbai is building a new airport worth £1.6billion to meet the ever-increasing demand. 

Scheduled to open later in 2024, Navi Mumbai International Airport will be the region’s second international airport, providing an alternative to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.

The existing airport currently handles nearly 45 million passengers annually and with the city only getting bigger, a second airport has arguably been needed for some time. 

The mega-project doesn’t end with the airport itself as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, a 13-mile sea bridge, is currently being built which will link the airport to mainland Mumbai.

The new airport is being developed in several stages. 

The initial phase, set to be finished by December 2024, involves completing the runway, allowing the airport to start welcoming up to 20 million passengers a year.

The entire project is expected to finish by 2032, with the capability by then to serve 90 million passengers every year. 

Additionally, Navi Mumbai will be equipped to handle 2.5 million tonnes of freight by 2032.

The airport will consist of three linked terminals, each designed to look like lotus flowers, which is India’s national flower.

Additionally, a fourth terminal will be specifically for budget airlines, capable of serving at least 2 million passengers each year during the initial phase of construction.

The airport will be located about 21 miles (35 km) away from Mumbai’s existing international airport and will have parking space for up to 5,500 vehicles.

It will eventually have two runways and room for 42 aircraft to park. Navi Mumbai International Airport will cover an area of 11.4 square kilometers.

Approved in 2017, construction of the new airport began in 2021. The Adani Group is developing the airport in partnership with the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO). The project is estimated to cost £1.6billion. 

However, construction of the new airport has already faced several challenges. The northern part of the airport site had swampy marine soil that needed to be elevated to prevent flooding. 

Additionally, a significant obstacle during construction was a large hill containing millions of cubic metres of rock.

Experts in bird strikes have raised concerns about the proximity of Navi Mumbai International Airport to bird sanctuaries, reported Al Jazeera. This close proximity could potentially increase the safety of flights being compromised due to the vulnerability of aircraft to bird strikes.

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