The long-awaited Navi Mumbai International Airport which is slated to be partly operational by December 2019, will be designed by London based Zaha Hadid Architects.

GVK led Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited (NMIAL) has appointed ZHA to design the Airport’s Terminal 1 and Air-Traffic-Control (ATC) Tower. This project will be Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHAs) first major venture in the Indian sub-continent.

A vision of landmark airports

The estimated cost of NMIAL project is INR 16,700 crore which will be developed on Public-Private-Partnership model by Airports Authority of India (AAI), Government of Maharashtra and Mumbai International Airports Ltd (MIAL).

“Our vision is to establish one more landmark airport that would exceed the benchmarks that GVK had set through MIAL whilst creating Terminal 2 at Mumbai airport. Hence we decided to go with ZHA, a firm known for its path-breaking and remarkable architecture,” said Dr. GVK Reddy, Founder & Chairman, GVK and Chairman NMIAL.

Devendra Fadnavi makes assurances

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a reply to a question raised by Nationalist Congress Party’s Jayant Patil, former Cabinet Minister of Rural Development, informed the Assembly during the Question Hour that, “The developer has assured Government of Maharashtra that one terminal and one runway of upcoming airport will be ready by December 2019.” The Chief Minister further informed, “The airport’s second phase will be fully operational in next two years’ time with a capacity to handle 50 lakh passengers annually.”

Located in the Kopra-Panvel area, the airport is a proposed greenfield project and upon its completion, Mumbai will be the first city in India to have more than one airport.

The ground-breaking ceremony was recently held and it was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

The Prime Minister said, "India's aviation sector is growing tremendously, and there is a sharp increase in the number of people flying. This makes quality infrastructure in the aviation sector of prime importance. A strong aviation sector also gives more economic opportunities.

Better connectivity leads to more tourists coming to India."

As per the recent development, GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd has signed an agreement with City Industrial Development Corporation Limited (CIDCO) to establish Navi Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (NMIAL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement the project.

GVK will hold a 74 percent stake in NMIAL while CIDCO holds the remaining 26 percent.

However, a Public-Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed by Vanashakti, an NGO and activist Stalin Dayanand in Bombay High Court challenging that CIDCO has violated conditions mentioned in the Environmental Clearances. The next hearing of the matter will be on March 28, 2018.