Published On:June 25 2024
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Noida Airport Commercial Flights Delayed, Set to Begin by April 2025

The anticipated launch of commercial flights from Noida Airport has been postponed to the end of April 2025, marking a setback from its earlier deadline due to disruptions in the supply chain and construction pace affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and global geopolitical tensions.

Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a subsidiary of Zurich Airport International AG overseeing the greenfield project in Jewar, Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Budh Nagar district, cited these challenges as reasons for the delay. The project, designed to rival Delhi Airport's bustling operations handling about 1,200 flights daily, had initially aimed for flight operations to commence by the end of this year.

"This shift has occurred due to various factors including delays in the delivery of construction materials and equipment, exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain disruptions stemming from geopolitical conflicts," YIAPL informed Business Standard. "We are actively collaborating with all stakeholders, including our EPC contractor Tata Projects Limited, to maintain momentum in construction activities and ensure readiness for operations."

YIAPL emphasized the criticality of upcoming weeks in construction ahead of the monsoon season, projecting to achieve operational readiness by late April 2025 based on current progress.

Earlier projections by YIAPL CEO Christoph Schnellmann in January had suggested commencement of commercial flights by the year-end. The airport, featuring a single runway, anticipates handling between 9.4 to 11.7 million passengers annually by 2025-26, as per estimates from aviation consultancy firm CAPA India, setting the stage for robust competition with Delhi Airport, located approximately 70 kilometers away.

The delay at Noida Airport mirrors challenges faced by other major greenfield airport projects in India, including Navi Mumbai Airport, slated for commercial operations by March 2025 according to former Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia's January statement. Adani Group had previously indicated Navi Mumbai Airport might commence operations by December 2024.

Despite setbacks, YIAPL affirmed that construction progress at Noida Airport remains advanced, with significant milestones achieved in runway, terminal, and control tower development. Recent awards of concessions for ground handling, commercial areas operation, and maintenance contracts, along with airline agreements for future flight connections, underscore the project's ongoing preparations.

While specifics on the delay were not detailed by YIAPL, sources familiar with the matter indicated construction progress slightly lagged initial expectations. The airport conducted its maiden calibration flight on April 18, a critical step in verifying and refining navigation aids and runway infrastructure ahead of commercial operations, ensuring safety and operational precision.

Initial operations at Noida Airport are projected to commence with 65 daily flights, signaling a pivotal milestone in the region's aviation infrastructure development.

BS





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