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Aim to make Noida airport operational by 2024: Yamuna Intl Airport Private CEO Christoph Schnellmann

Noida international airport is gearing up to become operational by 2024. Here’s what Christoph Schnellmann, CEO, Yamuna International Airport Private, the entity set up to manage and run the airport, has to say.

June 07, 2022 / 04:29 PM IST
Christoph Schnellmann, while accepting that costs have gone up, said, “We're not expecting a cost overrun now.” Schnellmann further added, “...... one of the things we will be looking at till the end of 2024, of course, is to secure partnerships with airlines as well to operate out of Noida.” (Video grab: Twitter @NIAirport)
Speaking on whether there are fears of a cost overrun on the project, Christoph Schnellmann said, "Input prices, commodity prices and fuel prices have increased across the globe and India has been no exception. It’s something we’ve been working through over the past few months with bidders interested in the CPC contract. We are confident that the Tatas will be able to deliver the airport infrastructure within the funds sanctioned by our lenders, by SBI and by our shareholders. The contract is a fixed term, fixed price contract. On this basis we do not anticipate any further cost pressure or cost overruns on the project.”
On whether their company would absorb the approximate 45 percent increase in costs, Christoph Schnellmann said, “I know individual commodities have fluctuated or have increased in different measures, but we will be able to deliver the project in the next three years within the funds sanctioned by SBI and our shareholders, within Rs 5,730 crore.” (Image: Twitter @cschnellmann)
On participation in the upcoming privatisation of airports in India, the CEO said, "India, for the Zurich Airport group, remains one of the core international markets. We have been doing business in India for 20 years along with Brazil. These are two key focus markets that we continue to observe with great interest. The privatisation programme is robust in India, and there is also a very robust regulatory policy. We will continue to observe these.” (Image: Twitter @cschnellmann)
Speaking on whether proper public transport be ready in time for the airport’s commissioning, considering that the airport is very far from its core market, he said, "The airport is very well connected to Delhi, Noida and Greater Noida. The airport is about 700 metres from the Yamuna Expressway, which is very well built and allows a smooth and quick transfer in under 30 minutes from Noida to Noida International Airport. We are pleased with the connectivity and we look forward to the development of the Metro. We expect the Delhi Metro Rail company to conclude its report (project) in the next few weeks. We expect on this basis funds to be sanctioned and works to be started before the airport opens for business. We expect work to start well before the airport opens. If it is not open on the same day as the airport it will open shortly after.” (Image: Twitter @cschnellmann)
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On whether he likes airports to be like luxurious five-star hotels or if they should focus on providing smooth entry and exit for passengers, Christoph Schnellmann said, "I'll take you back to our Indian warmth and hospitality and Swiss efficiency and technology. The intention is certainly to deliver an airport terminal that's warm and welcoming for passengers so they feel comfortable spending time waiting for their flights. That does not mean that we intend to gold plate it.” “Coming to Swiss technology and efficiency, it will be a terminal that is quick and easy to use. There will be short walking distances and quick transfer times. And quick turnarounds as well,” he added. (Image: Twitter @NIAirport)
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