MUMBAI- The highly anticipated Navi Mumbai Airport (NMIA) is on track to be operational by the end of next year, providing a much-needed boost to the megacity’s aerial connectivity.
With the existing Mumbai Airport (BOM) running at full capacity for years, the new airport promises to alleviate constraints on air travel in the region.
Navi Mumbai Airport to Launch Operations by Dec 2024
Billionaire Gautam Adani, speaking at the Adani Group’s annual general meeting, confirmed that Navi Mumbai Airport is preparing for operational readiness and airport transition (ORAT) by December 2024.
This major project is progressing as scheduled and stands as one of the Adani Group’s key ventures.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) defines ORAT as the crucial process of transitioning a new or redeveloped airport facility from construction to operation.
It involves engaging airlines and other airport users early on to plan and conduct preparation activities. Thus supporting the successful introduction of new airport infrastructure.
The ORAT methodology applies to various facilities, from baggage systems and passenger terminals to entire airports, ensuring a seamless and effective transition.
From Concept to Reality
The vision for Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) was conceived in 1999, and construction is now in full swing. The airport will feature Terminal 1 (T1) with 2 crore passengers per annum (CPPA) capacity.
While Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) drew inspiration from India’s national bird, the peacock, NMIA’s terminal design will take cues from the country’s national flower, the lotus.
With Adani Airport Holdings Ltd (AAHL) taking over Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) in July 2021, the plans for Navi Mumbai Airport saw significant changes.
During his first visit to the NMIA site after the acquisition, Gautam Adani advocated revising the airport’s projections to accommodate the immense potential of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
As a result, the airport’s phases 1 and 2 are now being executed simultaneously, aiming to achieve a capacity of 2 CPPA by December 2024. Furthermore, the ultimate capacity has been revised to a staggering 9-9.5 crore passengers.
Additionally, the cargo handling capacity has been increased by over 50%, targeting 2.5 million metric tonnes annually by 2032.
A Long-Awaited Arrival
From the initial planning stages to execution, the wait for Navi Mumbai International Airport has spanned over a quarter of a century.
The combined phase 1 and 2 will finally become operational in December of next year. Further providing significant relief to air travel in the region.
Looking ahead, the subsequent phases 3, 4, and 5 are slated for rapid implementation, aiming for completion by 2032.
The main activities under ORAT involve a team of experienced subject matter experts who work directly with airport stakeholders to assess performance, coordinate actions, and overcome obstacles.
Orientation and familiarization training is conducted to cover common facility spaces, functions, systems, and individual user requirements.
Implementing ORAT necessitates close collaboration between a dedicated team and airport end-users and substantial investments in time and resources.
Therefore, an ORAT program should be integrated into the larger project plan, safeguarded from potential delays in construction and commissioning, to ensure a successful launch of Navi Mumbai Airport.
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