Ever since Zurich Airport International AG was selected as the concessionaire for developing Jewar Airport, or the Noida International Greenfield Airport, in the NCR region, the development is being seen as a realty game-changer. The green-field airport will come up in a 5,000-hectare area at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore. The first phase of the airport will be spread over 1,334 hectares and cost Rs 4,588 crore and is expected to be completed by 2023. The proposed plan is to build a two-runway airport by 2022-23 and then, at a future date, extend it to a 7200-acre six-runway airport - the largest in India. The terminals at the Jewar airport will be designed to be energy-efficient and have a clear efficient layout to support airline operations and passenger movements.
Jewar Airport will not only address the aviation needs of Delhi but also of cities such as Agra, Mathura, Bulandshahr and Meerut. The Union Civil Aviation ministry expects this airport to give bolster tourism and economic potential of the region. Jewar Airport will be followed up by several other infrastructural developments. The airport will have an Aerocity on the lines of the one at the IGI airport. Plans are also in the works to link the airport with Delhi’s Metro’s Aqua Line by 2025. The government is also considering the possibility of linking the airport with Sarai Kale Khan, a major bus transit station in the national capital, through a dedicated Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS). At a later stage, the Jewar airport could be connected with the Eastern Peripheral Expressway that joins Haryana's Palwal with Kundli, bypassing the national capital.
With so much developmental activities lined up, it can be safely expected that as a mega infrastructure project, this green-field airport will give a major boost to the overall economic activity around Noida and Greater Noida region. The Jewar airport project will not only boost the aviation industry but will also provide an impetus to a host of other sectors such as real estate - residential and commercial, hospitality, tourism, logistics and warehousing. For those who have been heavily invested in the realty business in the micro-markets of Noida, Greater Noida and across the Yamuna Expressway, the project will revive demand that till date has been lacklustre. However, the impact would not be immediate but be visible only after eight to ten years.
Samantak Das, chief economist and executive director - Research & REIS at JLL India is of the opinion that real estate developers and corporates will be encouraged to invest in commercial real estate in the region. It would lead to a jump in investment and infrastructural development leading to an increase in demand for both residential and commercial properties, he argues. More and more office spaces will come up along the region as rentals will be relatively cheaper than Gurgaon and even Delhi.
However, there are others who are cautious and argue that the revival in demand will largely depend on actual ground implementation of the project. They have their reasons. Until there are visible signs of construction activity on Jewar International Airport, the potential of other real estate developments such as residential, commercial or retail will remain on hold. Not many developers would be launching a new project here since they are already under tremendous pressure to sell-off their existing housing stock and completing their stuck projects. "As and when the project progresses, it will help revive the property market in nearby areas like Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway," said Santhosh Kumar, vice chairman, Anarock Property Consultants. He expects the new airport to increase demand for the housing sector and even lead to an uptick in terms of commercial activities including office spaces and retail.
Despite being more affordable than Gurgaon and Delhi, Greater Noida and the areas along Yamuna Expressway did not become end-user driven markets due to unimpressive infrastructure. Industry experts believe that this is set to change as the new airport will boost the micro-market's overall infrastructure. This, they say, will make it more liveable and active, attract more end-users and see steady, genuine capital appreciation rather than mere speculation.
Development of an airport is seen as a key enabler for the development of an industrial region and is expected to create a significant multiplier impact in the economy. Jewar Airport and infrastructure developments around it will help give fillip to job creation both direct and indirect. According to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) estimates the output and employment multipliers of aviation is 3.25 and 6.10 respectively. This implies that every Rs 100 spent on air transport contributes to Rs 325 worth of benefits, and every 100 direct jobs in air transport result in 610 jobs in the economy as a whole.
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