While accepting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the air passenger traffic in India, Christoph Schnellmann, Chief Executive Officer, Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), the entity set up to manage and run Noida Airport, still expects the airport to serve around 4 million passengers in its first year of operation.
"We currently anticipate that when the airport opens will be serving around 4,000,000 passengers per annum and that will see passenger traffic grow from there," Schnellmann told Moneycontrol.
YIAPL is a subsidiary of Flughafen Zürich, the operator of Zurich Airport in Switzerland.
Schnellmann said that the airport will be operational by October 2024 and while the majority of the traffic the airport will cater to will be domestic, he was hopeful that airlines will also start operating international short-haul flights from Noida airport soon after its launch.
YIAPL is also in the process of scouting for a suitable partner to create world-class warehousing and logistics facilities at Jewar, the site of the upcoming international airport near Greater Noida.
"We're currently looking for a partner to develop almost 100 acres of land on the eastern side of the airport for air cargo and logistics and to provide the facilities to provide the infrastructure to service cargo," Schnellmann said.
Furthermore, YIAPL will start the process of regulatory filing with the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India for fixing the user development fee, landing, and parking charges in 2023.
Schnellmann also said that YIAPL is constantly in discussion with the Delhi Metro Rail Corp and the National High-Speed Rail Corp in order to set up public transport systems to Noida International Airport.
"Connectivity to and from the airport is is absolutely critical for the airport's success and further growth and development," he said, adding that the YIAPL will set up both a metro station and a terminal to high-speed railway next to the airport.
YIAPL will also install video recognition and facial recognition technology at Noida International Airport to make the passengers' journey through the airport terminal even more quick, efficient and convenient.
"We trying to develop the airport's IT infrastructure in such a way that many of the airport processes which passengers are familiar with, will all be available through mobile technology," Schnellmann said.
He also said that despite a rise in commodity prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, YIAPL does not expect a rise in cost overrun.
In the first phase of what would be the country’s largest airport once it’s ready by September 2024, more than 80 acres of land has been set aside on the eastern side for a large warehousing and logistics facility.
To enhance connectivity, work will shortly start on an interchange to connect Yamuna Expressway to the airport site. This will be part of the 56 km Faridabad-Noida-Ghaziabad (FNG) Expressway that will also be connected to Gurugram.
The first phase of Noida airport will require investing Rs 5,700 crore and the initial passenger handling capacity will be 12 million per annum.
After the capacity reaches 80 per cent, the next stage of expansion, taking the capacity to 30 million, will be taken up.The airport has asked for parity with Delhi airport, which means separate bilateral rights and points of call.