5 ways Jewar airport will help India in becoming a $5 trillion economy

The Jewar airport is set to give an impetus to not only the aviation industry but several other sectors like steel, cement, power, logistics and transportation

5 ways Jewar airport will help India in becoming a $5 trillion economy
Jewar airport is planned to be one of the biggest airports of the world. Representative image.

The Jewar airport, expected to start operations from 2023, will be India's answer to frontline global airports like Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (US), Logan International Airport, Boston (US) and Denver International Airport (US). It is set to give an impetus to not only the aviation industry, but several other sectors like steel, cement, power, logistics, road, railways, real estate, tourism, etc, and will be a big job-creator.

The project was expected to contribute significantly to the realisation of India's dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has put brakes on India's economic progress. 

According to Japanese brokerage firm Nomura, the Covid crisis would cause the Indian economy to contract by 6.1% in FY21. HDFC Bank, on the other hand, has forecast a 7.5% contraction in India's economic growth in the current fiscal.

Therefore the deadline for achieving the $5 trillion dream may have to be extended, but it is not that the dream can't be fulfilled. Union Commerce and Industry and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had sounded upbeat, saying that India has lost some time, but not the spirit and can still become a $5 trillion economy. The massive economic potential of the Jewar airport project would not only help India emerge strongly from the Covid-induced recession but also help it in realising the $5 trillion aim sooner rather than later.   

Here are the significant benefits that will be delivered by the airport:

1. Decongestion of New Delhi's IGI Airport 

The Jewar airport is expected to significantly bring down the load on New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The New Delhi airport is set to exhaust its annual carrying capacity of 100 million passengers by 2023-24. Jewar is expected to accommodate 12-16 million passengers per year. This will increase to 70 million passengers annually by 2040.

The real estate sector could see brisk business thanks to opening up of the Jewar airport. Image courtesy: Wikimedia

To put this in perspective, the Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in the US handled over 107 million passengers annually in 2018, making it the busiest global airport, according to an Airports Council International (ACI) report. The New Delhi Airport, placed at 12th in the ACI list, handled close to 70 million passengers in 2018, making it the busiest Indian airport.

2. King-sized project

The airport is to be built at the Jewar township of Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and is planned to start operations with one runway and 90% domestic traffic. The construction will involve four phases and the total estimated cost of the project will be Rs 29,560 crore. 

Also read: India's behemoth Jewar airport to see brisk action soon

With possibly eight runways after completion, it will be India's largest airport and among the world's largest. The Jewar airport will be double the size of the IGI Airport, which is currently the largest in India with three runways. 

Once completed, Jewar will be counted among the O'Hare International Airport and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (both in the US).

3. Infrastructure, job and real estate boom

The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (Yeida) has been sanctioned Rs 5,000 crore, which will be used to develop 4 cities on the periphery of the Jewar airport. 

Even during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and depressed economic activity in India, 69 firms were allotted a total of 146.5 hectares of industrial land around the Jewar airport from May to July 2020. Investments of over Rs 2,300 crore and creation of 86,000 jobs expected.

Zurich Airport had emerged as the highest bidder to develop Jewar airport. Image courtesy: Twitter/@Switzerland_SA 

The UP government has planned to bid for the Centre's MedTech park project and has identified land near the Jewar airport for this.

In October, the Uttar Pradesh government allotted about 700 plots near the Jewar airport to toy, apparel and handicraft manufacturers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

These units are expected to attract investments of up to Rs 30,000 crore. The units that come up in the area have the potential to create around seven lakh jobs.

Significantly, 108 plots have been allotted to domestic toy manufacturers. Leading domestic toy makers like FunZoo and Ankit Toys had submitted applications. Once operational, the toy manufacturing hub could create 25,000 jobs on its own and help to demolish China's hold on the Indian toy market. At present, 90% of the toys are imported from China and Taiwan.

The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) had earmarked 1,050 acres for industries to set up manufacturing units near the upcoming airport. 

Also read: New look Dehradun airport will be massive boost for Uttarakhand's economy

The upcoming airport will be particularly attractive for real estate developers in Noida, Greater Noida, and for those along the Yamuna Expressway. Demand for residential and commercial property in these areas will rise and so will property rates. 

The logistics and warehousing sectors is also expected to get a major boost with businesses emphasising on proximity to the airport. 

Work on the airport will also entail a concomitant development of transport infrastructure for easy access to the airport from anywhere within the NCR.

Three routes have been proposed by the state-run engineering consultancy firm RITES, which involves mobilising existing road, rail and metro networks and creating new infrastructure to connect the IGI and Jewar airports.

Creating new transport links, for instance, the proposed extension of DMRC's Blue Line from New Ashok Nagar to Jewar Airport would benefit not only those travelling to and from the airport but a larger population by bringing many new areas within the connectivity matrix.  

Daniel Bircher, CEO, Zurich Airport International (Asia) said that there is a good potential to develop the airport into a logistics hub with all the adjacent logistics development and planned projects. He mentioned that it also includes 74 hectares of cityside area that can be developed.

According to an Economic Times report, a number of real estate developers have acquired land around the upcoming Jewar airport, and with the Uttar Pradesh government's plan to build a 1,000-acre film city along the Yamuna Expressway, the demand for property is expected to rise considerably. 

4. Boon for tourism 

Jewar is located close to major tourist destinations like Agra (130km) and Mathura-Vrindavan (around 85km). 

It will be well connected by the Yamuna Expressway and will be really helpful for domestic and international tourists. 

With the Agra airport very limited in its reach, tourists visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra or Mathura-Vrindavan have to rely predominantly on the IGI Airport in New Delhi.  

5. Competition among airports

In November last year, Swiss company Flughafen Zürich AG, which operates the Zurich airport, was awarded the contract to build and operate the Jewar airport. 

It offered the highest revenue per passenger to Yeida -- the implementing agency for the airport on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government. 

The Swiss company, with an offering of Rs 400.97 per passenger, outbid competitors like the GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), Adani Group and Anchorage Infra. 

Flughafen Zürich AG will bring world-class standards in the construction and operation of the Jewar airport, according to industry analysts, it will lead to competition among airports, which are a monopoly at the moment. This competition will benefit airlines.