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Mumbai needs second airport urgently: Patel

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said Mumbai required a second airport urgently as the existing one was on the verge of reaching the "saturation point".

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Praful
Patel today said Mumbai required a second airport urgently as
the existing one was on the verge of reaching the "saturation

"Mumbai, our financial capital, needs to have a second
airport fast as the current airport is coming to a saturation
point. ... Equal amount of support is required on the
(aviation) infrastructure front," he said in the presence of
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who inaugurated the new
integrated Terminal 3 at the IGI Airport here.

His statement came in the backdrop of delay in the
grant of clearance by the Environment Ministry to the Navi
Mumbai airport project, which was approved by the Cabinet in
May 2007 through the public-private partnership mode.

Patel had earlier expressed anguish over the delay,
saying the day when the existing Mumbai airport would not be
allowed to take additional flights was not far. "It has almost
come to a stage that it can`t take any more traffic".

He had said the situation at the Mumbai airport was so
grim that there are hardly a few hours in a day when there is
"little space" to carry out maintenance and repairs on the

On the issue of installation of full body scanners at
important airports, Patel said "these (scanners) would be
installed only after a proper study and analysis. People have
objections to it as it invades their privacy."

He also said that very soon Airports Authority of
India, which has undertaken the modernisation of 35 non-metro
airports, would complete the renovation of terminals by next
year and within few days the renovated terminal building of
Ahmedabad would be opened.


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