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PM inaugurates Mumbai airport's swanky T2 terminal

Last updated on: January 10, 2014 20:29 IST

PM inaugurates Mumbai airport's swanky T2 terminal

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Terming India's infrastructure need as "enormous" which government alone cannot fulfill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said partnerships with private sector will be encouraged in this sector so that it is no longer a serious constraint limiting the economic growth.

Inaugurating a plush integrated terminal of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai which cost Rs 9,800 crore (Rs 98 billion), he said, "India's infrastructure needs are enormous. The infrastructure deficit in the country is considered as a serious constraint limiting our rate of economic growth. And, therefore, we need to work doubly hard to bridge this deficit."

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Image: Mumbai airport's integrated terminal, T2.
Photographs: Courtesy, GVK

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Noting that the government alone could not make "very large investment required to build world-class infrastructure in the country", he said "we have been encouraging

partnerships with the private sector" and construction of this terminal was "yet another shining example of successful execution of large infrastructure projects under the Public Private Partnership model".

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Photographs: Courtesy, GVK
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Government planned to develop and operationalise 50 more airports across the country in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, he said, adding that the last ten years have seen "outstanding development of civil aviation infrastructure in our country."

Regarding the long-pending Navi Mumbai airport project, he said "I would also like to mention here that we have finally resolved all pending issues with regard to the Navi Mumbai Airport. The Government of Maharashtra, in collaboration with the Central Government, is now moving ahead on the work for this new airport."

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Image: Mumbai's T2 Terminal
Photographs: Courtesy, GVK
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The swanky four-storey glass marvel, whose design has been inspired by a dancing peacock, has come up at a huge investment of Rs 9,800 crore as against initial estimate of Rs 7,452 crore.

Actual operations from the new terminal are likely to begin in another few weeks.

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Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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Clearly, signalling the readiness to launch operations of the superjumbo Airbus A-380s in India, the Prime Minister said "with the commissioning of Terminal-2, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport has become code F compliant and is now ready to handle A-380 type aircraft operations."

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Photographs: Sahil Salvi

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Recognising that the government alone could not invest to meet the massive infrastructure needs, he said several policy and regulatory reform measures to encourage growth, private participation and investment in the civil aviation sector already existed.

"We are determined to ensure that the civil aviation sector grows rapidly despite challenges such as rising fuel costs and infrastructure bottlenecks," he said.

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Image: T2 terminal.
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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Speaking on the occasion of the inauguration of Terminal 2, G V K Reddy, Executive Chairman, Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL), said, “The opening of Terminal 2 is one of the most important milestones in the history of CSIA as well as Mumbai. It is my dream to create icons which will last for generations. Over the years, we have developed expertise in executing challenging and complex infrastructure projects."

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Photographs: Courtesy, GVK
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"The success of Terminal-2 should give a boost to other PPP projects in the country, which are under implementation or are at the planning stage," he said.

Noting that India's propensity for air travel was "currently very low" , he said "our figure for domestic air trips per person is only about 0.05 per year, compared to 1.8 in the USA, 0.25 in Brazil and 0.15 in China. There is, therefore, tremendous potential for growth of the civil aviation sector in our country."

The inauguration ceremony was attended by political heavyweights like Union Ministers Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel and S Jaipal Reddy, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

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Image: A 3 km multi-storey Art Wall, illuminated by skylights, that has over 7000 pieces of artwork.
Photographs: Courtesy, GVK

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The Prime Minister also noted the "serious challenges" which need to be overcome in expansion of brownfield airports without affecting existing operations.

Mumbai airport is "now the third best global airport in the 25 to 40 million Passenger Capacity category. I am sure that with the commissioning of its Terminal-2, this airport will improve even further and will be counted among the very best in the world," he said. 

The state-of-the-art T2 will be larger than Singapore's Changi T3 (3.80 lakh sqm) and London's Heathrow T5 (3.53 lakh sqm). It will be able to accommodate 9,900 passengers during peak hours. It has a 7-lakh sq ft area of retail space, lounges and travel services.

The new terminal's sprawling premises boast of thousands of artefacts and paintings, housing arguably one the largest collections at any airport.

Stretching along a 3-km art wall, the museum houses over 7,000 artefacts collected from over 1,500 artists across the country.

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Photographs: Courtesy, GVK
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Spread over an area of a little over 4.39 lakh square meters, the T2 has been designed to cater to an estimated 40 million passengers annually.

The new terminal project, carried out by the GVK-led consortium, missed several deadlines in past three years and incurred over 32 per cent cost escalation.

As far as facilities are concerned, the terminal will have 188 check-in counters, 60 immigration sites for departing passengers and 76 immigration counters for incoming fliers.

Also, passengers will have access to 47 escalators and 73 elevators. The facilities also include 52 boarding gates, around 11,000 seats, 101 toilets, 44 travelators, 16 lounges, and 10 baggage carrousels, among others. 


Photographs: Courtesy, GVK
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