How were the challenges of constructing Navi Mumbai Intl. Airport overcome?

Mr. M Mahadev, Transport Engineer, talks about the obstacles that had to be overcome to construct the Navi Mumbai Intl. Airport

18 October 2016

Expert talk
During an industrial visit planned for our MBA IM students, Mr. M Mahadev, Transport Engineer, spoke in detail about the obstacles that had to be overcome to construct the Navi Mumbai International Airport.

Transport engineer Mr. M Mahadev explained the technicalities related to Navi Mumbai International Airport. This project was under consideration since 1997. Navi Mumbai International Airport was originally designed to be a domestic airport due to difficulties related to shortage of land and certain environmental issues. It was later built on a PPP (public private partnership) basis.

As the land belonged to CIDCO, the government proposed that all work should be done only by CIDCO. The construction created many challenges because this airport was the first to be planned and established over an urban city. Also, high tension lines which fed the Mumbai and Navi Mumbai cities were an obstruction to the construction of the airport. These were shifted underground as a solution to the issue. A small river (the Ulwe river) that flowed through the airport was shifted to the periphery of the airport. Despite these challenges, the authorities have managed to build the first airport in India with parallel runways. 

There was also a challenge related to the distance between old and the new airports. The distance between 2 airports is generally kept to more than 150 kms in order to keep up with economic pressures and to keep the air traffic congestion to a minimal limit. In this case, due to a distance of 37 kms between the old and new airports, a simulation study was done by IKO Institute (Montreal, Canada) to solve the cross runway problem between the new and old airports faced during the construction. This study showed that the correct working of both the airports was feasible and safe; and would meet the future demands of the city. As part of the Rehabilitation and Resettlement plan, TARA aviation school was also built by CIDCO to train individuals for careers in the aviation sector. 
Thus, with proper strategic thinking and solution-finding approach, the obstacles were overcome and on 7 July 2007, final approval was received for the project.  

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