Uttar Pradesh has become the only state in India to have five international airports, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating Noida International Airport on 25 November. The state had two international airports – Lucknow and Varanasi – until 2012. PM inaugurated Kushinagar airport in October 2021, making it the third international airport in the state. The Jewar Airport is set to become India’s largest airport and among the biggest in the world regarding the number of runways.
Uttar Pradesh has a unique distinction of having a strategic location closer to several cities -- Delhi, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, Agra and Aligarh, among other neighbouring areas – giving it a prime edge in keeping with the government’s commitment to ensure uninterrupted multi-modal connectivity on land, railways, water and air. The state reached the new milestone of five international airports in less than five years.
Kushinagar airport, built at an estimated cost of Rs. 260 crores will benefit domestic and international pilgrims by providing seamless connectivity to the Mahaparinirvana sthal of Lord Buddha. It will boost investment and employment opportunities in the region.
The Noida International Airport or the Jewar Airport, on the other hand, is built in an area of 5000 acres at the cost of Rs 29,560 crore. The government intends to operationalize the first phase of the airport by 2022-23. By the end of the fourth phase, the airport will have six runways.
The airport will have excellent multi-modal connectivity as it is close to the existing Yamuna Expressway (Greater Noida to Agra), Eastern Peripheral Expressway, and it will have a link with Delhi-Mumbai Expressway at Ballabhgarh, Khurja-Jewar NH 91.
Role of Gati Shakti National Master Plan in UP’s Airport Development
According to a media release from PMO, the Gati Shakti National Master Plan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month infused a sense of urgency into the plans for infrastructure development in Uttar Pradesh. The 100- lakh-crore project intends to develop ‘holistic infrastructure’ in the country, thereby raising the global profile of its local manufacturers and helping them compete with their counterparts across the globe. A 20-member Empowered Group of Secretaries is constituted to oversee the Gati Shakti National Master Plan projects.