Buoyed by a recovery in air traffic, the upcoming Noida International Airport at Jewar has revised its forecast of expected traffic. While in 2019, the airport operator had expected 4.1 million passengers in the first year, according to its latest forecast, it now expects 6.5 million footfall.
The airport which is being built by Tata Projects and owned by Zurich Airport will be operational by 2024.
“ We expect better traffic than initially thought due to the pace of recovery of the Indian air traffic and the large aircraft orders placed by Indian airlines,” Christoph Schnellmann, CEO of Noida Airport, told ET.
Recovery in Indian domestic air traffic has been one of the fastest in the world. As many as 685 million people are expected to fly in India in 2042 compared to the 165 million in 2019, according to Airbus’s 20-year forecast released in June 2023.
This makes India the third largest civil aviation market after China and the United States and one of the fastest growing ones. A Barclays report released in June shows that Indian carriers account for nearly 7% of the industry backlog of orders, the second largest in the world after the U.S.
The aggressive projection forecasts will have 12 million passengers within the first three full years of operation, according to an investor presentation reviewed by ET. The airport will have one runway and 28 aircraft stands and aims to cater to 12 million passengers by the end of its first phase.
The runway will be 3,900 metres long and have a standing capacity to accommodate 28 aircraft. The passenger terminal will have an area of 100,000 square metres.
Reaching 12 million passengers will trigger the next phase of expansion with the ultimate aim being to handle 70 million passengers per annum.
Schnellmann said that the airport will not depend on traffic spilling out from Delhi Airport but it will build a catchment area of its own.
The cities of Agra, Mathura, Barsana which are popular among tourists and cities like Ghaziabad which have manufacturing bases of electronics majors like Samsung, LG, Vivo will help it thrive, Schenellmann said.
It also wants to develop an international traffic base to SAARC, Middle East countries.