Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India's infrastructure needs were enormous, with the infrastructure deficit considered as a serious constraint limiting its rate of economic growth, and called for public-private partnerships to bridge this gap.
"We need to work doubly hard to bridge this deficit. The Government alone cannot make the very large investment required to build world-class infrastructure in the country, and, therefore, we have been encouraging partnerships with the private sector," he said after inaugurating the new integrated terminal (T2) at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) here.
He said the construction of the new terminal was yet another shining example of successful execution of large infrastructure projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model which the Government had encouraged in recent years.
"I am very happy that the PPP model has worked particularly well in the civil aviation sector, with 5 PPP airports now handling about 57% of the passenger traffic and about 70% of the cargo in our country. 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.
Dr Singh said the Government had introduced several policy and regulatory reform measures to encourage growth, private participation and investment in the civil aviation sector.
"We are determined to ensure that the civil aviation sector grows rapidly despite challenges such as rising fuel costs and infrastructure bottlenecks," he said.
Dr Singh said the decision to allow up to 49% foreign direct investment (FDI) by foreign carriers in domestic airlines, in addition to the FDI permissible in airport infrastructure, would help Indian carriers through equity infusion.
"We have attempted to improve airport infrastructure through private participation in greenfield airports and public private partnership (PPP) in select airports currently being operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI)," he said.
Mumbai bets on airport revamp to boost global standing
He said the Government planned to develop and operationalize 50 more airports across the country, in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
"I must say that the last ten years have seen outstanding development of civil aviation infrastructure in our country," he said.
Dr Singh said the terminal is expected to establish new global bench-marks of functional efficiency and operational safety for airports. "It also exemplifies our ability as a nation to build world-class infrastructure. I have no doubt that this terminal will fulfill the expectations we have from it and make us all feel very proud," he said.
Dr Singh complimented Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) for building the state-of-the art facility.
He said the entrepreneurial skills of Mr G V K Reddy, chairman of the GVK Group, and his colleagues were truly first class. "I am aware that they have overcome serious challenges that arise in expansion and up-gradation of brownfield airports, especially in a land constrained city like Mumbai. It is even more creditable that they have ensured that the ongoing airport operations were not affected even while this project was being implemented," he said.
He said the Government had been working hard to make CSIA a world class facility. He noted that the airport's Passenger Convenience Ratings, given by Airports Council International, have improved considerably in recent years. Its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) rating has gone up from 3.53 in 2007 to 4.64 in 2012. It is now the 3rd Best Global Airport in the 25 to 40 million Passenger Capacity category.
"Compared internationally, the propensity for air travel is currently very low in India. 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," he said.
Dr Singh also said that the Government had 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," he said.
Maharashtra Governor K Shankarnarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Science & Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel were amongst those present on the occasion.
The 4.4 million square feet terminal can handle 40 million passengers annually.
Built across four-levels, the terminal has a vertical and compact design, integrating all operations under one roof to enhance passenger servicing and operationa effiiency.
The terminal has a dedicated six-ane, 3.2 km elevated expressway leading to it, shorterning the travel time from the Western Express Highway.
The terminal has 208 check-in counters as well as 23 domestic and 30 international security pedestals. There are 60 emigration counters on departure and 72 on arrival. It has 52 boarding bridges, compared to 20 now.
The complex has 10,900 seating capacity, 102 toilets, 161 elevators, escalators and travellators. It has a retail footprint of 200,000 sq. ft., lounges, a day hotel, a transit hotel, 10 baggage carousels, expandable to 14, automated baggage system handling 9600 bags per hour and 200,000 sq ft of landscaped garden.
The terminal has been built at a cost of Rs 5500 crore, which the GVK Group said was lower than similar airport projects in India and other parts of the world.
The new airport terminal will also be home to India’s largest public art programme, in the form of a 3 km multi-storey Art Wall, illuminated by skylights, that has over 7000 pieces of artwork andartefacts from Maharashtra and also all parts of India. Titled "Jaya He" (Glory to India), it captures the expanse, depth and beauty of Indian art, craft and cultural heritage.
The airport also has a 5200-car multi-level cark park, one of the largest in the country.
A 15-metre-tall cable-stayed glass wall—the longest in the world—opens to the soaring space of the check-in hall, with the transparent façade allowing accompanying well-wishers, to watch as their friends and family depart.
Once inside, travelers enter the large check-in hall underneath the 11-acre long-span roof, supported by an array of only 30 mushrooming multi-storey mega-columns.
The common check-in hall leads to a retail hub for international travelers, while domestic passengers proceed down to Level Three along the palm and waterfall gardens to a dedicated domestic retail hub.
These commercial plazas, spread over a combined area of 200,000 sq. ft., are centrally located at the junction of the concourses and the terminal core, to provide close proximity, to the 52 convenient departure gates for maximum passenger convenience.
Level 2 is dedicated for all Arrivals with 10 fully–automatic baggage-handling carousels & 72 arrival immigration counters, while Level 1 is designed for ground transportation.
The new terminal will commence international operations from February 12.
Post today’s inauguration, the terminal will undergo a comprehensive security sweep as well as ORAT (Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer). During the days preceding commissioning of the Terminal, GVK will be undertaking familiarization processes for airlines, ground handling staff, security, customs, immigration and MIAL employees to get them acquainted with the new systems and facilities.
Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL) is a joint venture between the GVK led consortium and Airports Authority of India. MIAL was awarded the mandate of modernizing, upgrading and expanding Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in May 2006.
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