Thursday, June 16, 2011

Airport city on the cards in Navi Mumbai

The Maharashtra government plans to set up high-end townships around the new international airport at Panvel, Mumbai and promote them as special business, hospitality and amusement clusters along with residential complexes, according to a report by Ketaki Ghoge in Hindustan Times. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) - the planning authority for the area - will prepare a master plan of 50 sq km for development around the demarcated airport site. The idea of setting up the Navi Mumbai airport as an aerotropolis (airport city), has been inspired by international airports like Washington and New York. A team of officials visited airports in the US last week to study their management of multiple airports. Louis and Berger, consultants for the Navi Mumbai international airport, sponsored the week-long trip. Officials said that in the past, townships surrounding the airports were associated with a certain degree of negativity because of the constant noise and pollution.

However, in recent times, townships around airports have become chic neighbourhoods. Officials estimate that once the Navi Mumbai airport is operational by 2012, there will be a huge demand for land exploitation to set up hotels, retail outlets and shopping malls. The state’s Urban Development Department (UDD) plans to modify development control regulations so CIDCO can offer developers additional vertical development rights in this area in exchange for a premium. “CIDCO can earn substantial revenue from this development. The townships will have mixed land use with residential, business, hospitality and retail centres being developed here,” said a senior UDD official. CIDCO will have to ensure that there is minimal noise pollution. A buffer of mangroves and trees will surround and cordon off the main airport site from these townships.

The planning agency has designated 370 acres as a No Development Zone around the airport following directives from Ministry of Environment and Forests, and this will help in minimising noise pollution. CIDCO will also build large parking lots at and near the airport because this has been seen as a major revenue generation source for international airports.

Article by Hospitality Biz India Staff

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