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Centre Sanctions Rs. 1,305 Crore for Phase I of Dholera International Airport

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), GoI, headed by the Prime Minister, has sanctioned an amount of Rs 1,305 crore for the development of Phase I of the greenfield International Airport at Dholera, Gujarat.

Dholera International Airport Company Ltd and Dholera Special Investment Region

Dholera International Airport is being developed by Dholera International Airport Company Limited (DIACL), which was incorporated in 2013. DIACL is a joint venture among Airports Authority of India (AAI), government of Gujarat and the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT), with an equity holding ratio of 51:33:16 respectively.

This upcoming airport has been planned as a part of the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) Project, and it will serve not only as a second passenger airport for Ahmedabad, but will also cater to the cargo traffic in and around DSIR.

DSIR is an upcoming greenfield smart industrial city about 100 Km southwest of Ahmedabad and a part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

Design and Location of the Greenfield Dholera International Airport

Gujarat Government has earmarked an area of 1,427 hectare for this upcoming airport, while an additional 75 hectare have been allocated for commercial development around the airport.

Dholera International Airport will be located north of Dholera Smart City and Bhavnagar. Currently, the site of this airport is accessible by NH-751, and it will soon be connected to Ahmedabad by the Ahmedabad-Dholera Expressway, which is under construction, as well as a semi-high speed railway line.

This airport will have two runways one of which will be 4,000 metres in length, and the other will be 3,200 metres long. These runways will be suitable for type 4E aircraft as categorised by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This means that this upcoming airport can cater to aircrafts like Airbus A330, A340, Boeing B777, B747 and B787.

Each of these runways will have parallel taxiways. Moreover, the airport will have a fire station of category 9.

Dholera Airport is expected to be operational by 2025-26 with an initial annual passenger traffic of 3 lakh passengers, which is projected to grow to 23 lakh in the coming two decades. The initial cargo traffic at the Dholera airport is expected to be about 20,000 tonne. This figure is estimated to grow to 2,73,000 tonne by 2030.

Upcoming Greenfield Airports in India & Government’s Vision for the Aviation Sector

Government of India has accorded approval to 21 greenfield airports across the country, as stated by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. VK Singh on 28th March 2022 in the Rajya Sabha.

Out of these 21 airports, 9 will be international while the others will be domestic in nature. Dholera is one of these 9 international airports. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has stated that India is set to become the world’s third-largest air passenger market by 2030.