The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has accorded its permission to the GMR Group’s proposal, for the Rs 2,629-crore expansion plan of Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), which manages the airport, is in the process of expanding the current design capacity from the existing 12 million passengers per annum, to 25 million passengers per annum.
Hyderabad Airport handled over 15 million passengers, including over three million international passengers, last year. “After detailed deliberations, the EAC recommended the project for environmental clearance and stipulated specific conditions, along with other environmental conditions, while considering for accord of environmental clearance (for the airport expansion programme),” the EAC said, in the minutes of the meeting held last month. “The estimated capital expenditure for the proposed expansion of the RGI airport project, is Rs 2,629 crores,” it said.
According to the proposal submitted by GHIAL, the project is expected to be financed through a combination of internal accruals and debt. Construction for the project, is expected to generate direct employment for more than 5,000 people and double the figure of indirect employment, which will span across 5-6 years. Indirect employment generation of about 4,000 persons is envisaged for utility services, along with another 5,000 to 6,000 in commercial and support services, it added.
As per the master plan, the ultimate capacity of the airport is estimated to reach up to 40 MPA, with dual runways connected by two cross taxiways, multiple rapid exit taxiways, two integrated passenger terminals and large dedicated cargo terminals, according to the GMR website. GHIAL signed the concession agreement with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in December 2004, for a period of 30 years. The airport is operated and managed by the GMR Group, which holds a majority stake in GHIAL through its holding company GMR Airports Limited (GAL).