The Noida International Airport will be a thriving international airport serving the National Capital Region of Delhi and the fast-developing Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development area between Delhi and Agra. Mr Christoph Schnellmann, Chief Executive Officer, Yamuna International Airport Private Limited talks to Travel Turtle and unveils the ambitious development plan.
- What does the logo of Noida International Airport symbolize?
The brand logo is a symbol that shows a Sarus Crane – the state bird of UP – in flight. The symbol is created using thin uniform converging lines with a blue-green colour gradient fill symbolizing technology and connectivity on one hand and eco-consciousness on the other. The upward movement denotes positivity and upliftment of experience. The logo effectively combines technology with emotions while lending sophistication and elegance. The logo echoes Noida International Airport’s vision to be India’s leading airport in terms of quality, efficiency, technology and a role model for sustainable infrastructure and operations, delivering an exemplary experience to all customer segments.
- Being the concessionaire of the airport project, what will be your plan of action in developing this airport? Since the project is under the PPP model what will be the designated areas under your umbrella?
With the investment in the Noida International Airport project, Zurich Airport International has committed to be a trusted partner for the Government of India and the Government of Uttar Pradesh by supporting the national agenda through infrastructure development and job creation. Zurich Airport International AG is the sole shareholder of YIAPL, which was incorporated as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to develop the Greenfield Noida International Airport in Jewar. As per the concession agreement, Zurich Airport International has been granted the license to design, build, and operate Noida International Airport for a period of forty years.
YIAPL is committed to building a world-class airport in India which will play the role of a catalyst for the economic growth of India and Uttar Pradesh. NIA will be a digital greenfield airport, enabling seamless flows through the airport, a pleasant travel experience as well as tailored-made and efficient infrastructure for its logistics partners.
- It is believed that the airport will be operational within 36 months i.e., by 2024 with two runways. What is your comment on the timeline of the project?
The airport’s first terminal is expected to be ready within 3 years of start of the construction and will generate a capacity of 12 Million annual passengers.
- Can you elaborate on the main infrastructural developments planned at the Noida International Airport? What developments will we be seeing in the first phase of operations?
From the very beginning, we had targeted the first 6 months for financial closures with the next 36 months for completion of terminal 1 of the airport. The project will be constructed with an initial investment of INR 5,730 crore for the first phase. The airport will open with a single runway and the capacity to handle at least 12m passengers per year. We will develop this Airport on 1334 Ha of land.
We’re planning two parallel runways to serve over 70m passengers per year in the final phase, for which the government of UP has reserved an additional 5000 Ha of land.
The airport will have air cargo as well as logistics facilities, maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities for aircraft maintenance, a hotel conjoining the airport, varied retail and dining options along with a connecting metro station.
- What challenges did authorities face while setting up the project and also your anticipated opportunities in developing this?
The biggest challenge that we have faced so far is the sudden outbreak of the pandemic which has impacted the pace of the project. However, we are working closely with the government to start the development of the project at the earliest.
We believe that once initialized, the project will bring ample opportunities such as, the infrastructural development will fuel the economy and jobs in NCR, Greater Noida, and the state of Uttar Pradesh. We also envisage generating 3000-5000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the initial years in the region.
- What will be the passenger capacity the airport is expected to cater to per annum, after the first phase of construction?
The airport will open with a single runway and the capacity to handle at least 12m passengers per year.
- “The work on the ambitious project was supposed to start by June this year, but it got delayed due to the Covid-19 restrictions,” an official statement said. When are we expecting this project to take off?
As mentioned above, the COVID-19 induced restrictions did impact the pace, but the development work is expected to start soon. We recently received the final credit sanction for INR 3725 crore from the State Bank of India (SBI) for the development of Noida International Airport (NIA). The funding is a crucial milestone for the project as it validates the financial viability of the project while also outlining the next steps for the establishment of the Noida International Airport. With this, we are bullish that the project is very much on track and we will soon move ahead with other key milestones for the development of the airport.