India to build new airport, targets Middle East traffic

India will build a new international airport in the western state of Gujarat as Asia’s third-largest economy seeks to tap a share of the booming air traffic from the Middle Eastern hubs.

The new airport in Dholera, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Ahmedabad, will be capable of handling Airbus Group NV A380 superjumbos, said Amit Chavda, the general manager for Dholera International Airport Co.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to build more roads, airports and ports after taking power in May as he seeks to improve basic infrastructure that’s partly deterred foreign investments into the country. India is ranked 87 out of 144 nations by the World Economic Forum for infrastructure quality, below war-torn Ukraine and 25 spots below Kazakhstan, which has roughly the same land mass.

“This is Modi’s dream project, ” Chavda said in an interview on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Mumbai on Feb. 4. “He keeps track of the project very closely. ”

The new airport will lure foreign airlines by offering them an alternative hub to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other Middle Eastern airports, Chavda said. A flight from London to Sydney can save fuel for more than 300 kilometers by using Dholera as a hub instead of Dubai, he said.

“In five years, Dubai airport will be so busy and so difficult to get into, that airlines would like to rather route their flights via Dholera, ” Chavda said.

The Dholera airport, for which the Japan International Cooperation Agency is preparing a project survey, has initial approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and expects to get other approvals by 2016, Chavda said. Bids will be invited from private companies to develop the airport, he said.

Modi ruled Gujarat as its chief minister for 12 years before winning a landslide victory in national elections last year. Ford Motor Co., Tata Motors Ltd. and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. are among companies that have invested in Gujarat.

The Dholera airport, to be built in about 1, 426 hectares of land at an initial investment of 10 billion rupees ($1. 6 billion), will have two runways, hotels and convention centers, Chavda said.


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India will build a new international airport in the western state of Gujarat as Asia’s third-largest economy seeks to tap a share of the booming air traffic from the Middle Eastern hubs.

The new airport in Dholera, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Ahmedabad, will be capable of handling Airbus Group NV A380 superjumbos, said Amit Chavda, the general manager for Dholera International Airport Co.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to build more roads, airports and ports after taking power in May as he seeks to improve basic infrastructure that’s partly deterred foreign investments into the country. India is ranked 87 out of 144 nations by the World Economic Forum for infrastructure quality, below war-torn Ukraine and 25 spots below Kazakhstan, which has roughly the same land mass.

“This is Modi’s dream project, ” Chavda said in an interview on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Mumbai on Feb. 4. “He keeps track of the project very closely. ”

The new airport will lure foreign airlines by offering them an alternative hub to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other Middle Eastern airports, Chavda said. A flight from London to Sydney can save fuel for more than 300 kilometers by using Dholera as a hub instead of Dubai, he said.

“In five years, Dubai airport will be so busy and so difficult to get into, that airlines would like to rather route their flights via Dholera, ” Chavda said.

The Dholera airport, for which the Japan International Cooperation Agency is preparing a project survey, has initial approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and expects to get other approvals by 2016, Chavda said. Bids will be invited from private companies to develop the airport, he said.

Modi ruled Gujarat as its chief minister for 12 years before winning a landslide victory in national elections last year. Ford Motor Co., Tata Motors Ltd. and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. are among companies that have invested in Gujarat.

The Dholera airport, to be built in about 1, 426 hectares of land at an initial investment of 10 billion rupees ($1. 6 billion), will have two runways, hotels and convention centers, Chavda said.

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