Indian Aviation’s Vision 2040 for 1.1bn Travelers: What are Upcoming International Airports in India in 2023 and 2024

India’s Vision 2040 for civil aviation is full of positive facts and practical figures. The phenomenal increase in the total number of India’s inbound and outbound air travelers from 134.98 million in 2015-16 to 184 million in 2017-18 is the foundation of India’s Vision 2040 for 1.1 billion passengers. Recently released at the Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai, the Civil Aviation Ministry’s “Vision 2040” report states that there will be 190-200 functioning airports in India by 2040. Delhi and Mumbai will have three international airports each, while top 31 Indian cities will have two operational airports each. The current fleet of 622 commercial aircraft crisscrossing India (as per March 2018) will grow manifold to include 2359 planes by March 2040. ‘The Next Generation Airports for Bharat’ Nirman Fund (NNF) has been proposed in the report on India’s Vision 2040 to provide monetary support for new and upcoming international airports in India.

Travel Beats, an overseas Indian community portal by Indian Eagle Travel, curated details of India’s upcoming international airports, which are expected to cost around $40-50 billion (excluding land acquisition costs), as per India’s Vision 2040 report. Most of the new and upcoming airports in India will have international connectivity for flights to and from the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific countries.

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Rajkot International Airport, Gujarat

One of the new international Indian airports under construction is in Rajkot, Gujarat, as part of India’s vision 2040 in aviation. Expected to be completed by December 2023, the Rajkot International Airport is being developed in two phases – airport site and runway construction under the first phase and passenger terminal and apron under the second phase. The terminal building planned with four passenger boarding bridges, three conveyor belts and 20 check-in counters will be able to handle 1,800 passengers during peak hours.

To be developed across 2534 acres of land, Rajkot Greenfield International airport will have the capacity to handle the A320 family aircraft. One of the upcoming Greenfield airports in India, it will be equipped with a solar power system, rainwater harvesting system and a noise-absorbing green belt. Early in 2018, the Airports Authority of India allocated Rs.7.9 billion (USD 125.1 million) for the new Rajkot International Airport project development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone during the ground-breaking ceremony in October 2017.

Location: Hirasar village, approximately 30 km from Rajkot City 

Dholera International Airport, Gujarat

Gujarat’s third international airport is under construction in the ancient Harappan city of Dholavira. To be constructed in multiple phases with a 2025-26 deadline for its first phase completion, this greenfield airport will initially be able to handle over 3 lakh passengers a year and its capacity will be gradually expanded to 5 million annual passengers in future phases. Dholera Airport will share the increasing passenger load on Ahmedabad International Airport in its capacity as the second airport to the city. Moreover, the airport being developed as a part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) will also serve the industrial region as a major cargo hub.

Location: Navagam village, Dholera, around 100 km from Ahmedabad

Visakhapatnam International Airport, Andhra Pradesh

The upcoming greenfield airport in Bhogapuram will be Andhra Pradesh’s first international airport near Visakhapatnam. Bhogapuram Airport is being developed in three phases by the prestigious GMR Group, the operator of Delhi IGI Airport, Hyderabad RGI Airport, and Goa’s Mopa Airport. Also known as GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport, it had its foundation stone laid in May 2023.  The first phase is scheduled for completion in the next three years at an estimated cost of INR 4,592 crore. The airport, to be developed across 2,200-acre, will handle 6 million annual passengers in its first phase, and this capacity will be increased to 18 million passengers based on for international flights to Vizag, India.

Location: Bhogapuram, approximately 45km from Visakhapatnam

Sabarimala International Airport, Kerala

Good news for the Sabarimala pilgrims from across the world! The proposed Sabarimala International Airport project on 2570 acres of land at Cheruvally Estate near Erumely in Kottayam district has overcome its first hurdle and gained the Union Environment Ministry Panel’s approval in June 2023. Now it’s up for impact assessment and if things fall in place as per the Kerala government’s plan, Sabarigiri International Airport will be the nearest airport for Sabarimala and the fifth international air travel hub in Kerala. Currently, Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to Sabarimala at a distance of 155 km.

Location: Erumeli, approximately 40 km from Kottayam

Navi Mumbai International Airport

The costliest and biggest of all the upcoming international airports in India is Navi Mumbai Airport, which will become operational once the first phase of construction is completed as planned by December 2024. The airport – officially named D. B. Patil International Airport – will handle 10 million passengers a year initially and more than 90 million annual passenger traffic upon completion of its all four phases by 2032. Reportedly, the NMI airport will handle 80 flights an hour and some 1900 flights in 24 hours. 

The Navi Mumbai International Airport project cost is estimated at Rs.16, 700 crore, as per the report on India’s Aviation Vision 2040. Read more about the second Mumbai international airport designed like a lotus, India’s national flower, and its topnotch facilities.

Ludhiana International Airport, Punjab

Ludhiana, Punjab’s largest city and industrial hub, is the location of one of the upcoming international airports in India. The airport, officially named Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha International Airport, is coming up at the existing Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Halwara. To be developed by the Punjab government and the Airports Authority of India in collaboration, the project includes construction of an international passenger terminal in the first phase. Ludhiana International Airport will be able to accommodate and handle Code 4C-type aircraft such as Boeing 737-700 and Airbus A-320.

Most likely to begin operations in September 2023, it will share the increasing load of air traffic to Amritsar International Airport in Punjab. Qatar Airways is the only major international carrier operating flights to Amritsar from USA and other countries.

Location: Halwara, nearly 40 km from Ludhiana

Ayodhya International Airport

One of the most awaited Indian airports is Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport in Ayodhya. It will facilitate domestic and international air connectivity for Indian Diaspora looking forward to the opening of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. While the first phase of the airport construction is close to completion for operations scheduled in December 2023, Ayodhya International airport (UP’s fifth) will be developed gradually in three phases across the area of 821 acres.

In its first phase, the airport will cater to mostly domestic passengers and its interim terminal building will handle 6,00,000 passengers annually. The airport design that resembles the architecture of Ayodhya Ram Mandir is among the most stunning features.

Second International Airport, Chennai

Like Delhi and Mumbai, Chennai is paving the way for a second international airport in line with India’s Vision 2040 for aviation. Intended to decongest Chennai International Airport (MAA), the second facility is proposed to be built across 5000 acres of land spanning 13 villages in Parandur, situated nearly 15 km from Kanchipuram. This 20,000 crore project is planned with 100 million passenger handling capacity and the tentative deadline for completion of the airport’s construction is 2028. Reportedly, Chennai’s Parandur Airport will feature two long runways that can hold huge 600-seat aircraft. A metro line connecting the airport with Chennai City and a road link with the Bangalore–Chennai Expressway are also planned.

Location: Parandur, nearly 70 km from Chennai

Kalyani Airport, Kolkata

A new airport is being built 53 km away from Kolkata and some 82km from India’s biggest ISCKON temple to ease the burden on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport – the biggest hub for air travel in east India and also one of the 10 busiest airports in the country. Kalyani Airport will be developed across 1500 acres of land and the airport will have a capacity to handle around 8.5 million passengers annually. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) set a 2030 deadline for Kolkata’s second airport to become operational.

Shivamogga Airport, Karnataka 

To be operationalized from 11 August, Shivamogga Airport is another UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) project developed in two phases at a cost of INR 450 crores. The greenfield airport covers 662 acres of land and features a 3200-m runway, the second-longest runway in the state after Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. Its lotus-shaped passenger terminal building has a capacity to handle nearly 300 passengers in peak hours. As per reports, the domestic airport can handle Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 type aircraft and its standards are at par with that of an international airport.

Karnataka has two more upcoming airports – Vijayapura Airport with a tentative operational deadline in December 2023 and Hassan Airport whose construction is expected to be completed by April 2024.

Jewar International Airport, Noida

A wing of India’s Vision 2040 for aviation is Noida International Airport at Jewar, which will be catering to the catchment areas of Delhi NCR. Expected to ease the air traffic load on Indira Gandhi International Airport, the new facility will increase passenger-handling capacity up to 70 million per year over the next 30 years. INR 10,000 crore is the estimated cost of constructing the airport’s first phase, which is likely to open for commercial flight operations by the end of 2024. In the first phase, Noida International Airport will handle 12 million passengers. Much like Delhi IGI Airport, Noida International Airport will have international connectivity for USA to India flights, and flights from the UK, Singapore, Australia, as well as the Middle East.

Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport, Pune

Pune’s second international airport at Purandar will be named after Maratha King Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje. To be built on 2400 hectares of land, the proposed Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Airport may replace Lohegaon Air Force Station, the current international airport in Pune, which cannot accommodate more than 4 to 6 international flights to and from Pune due to restrictions on the air force base. Though approved in 2016, Pune’s Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Airport project didn’t take shape due to land acquisition and other issues. Its fate now rests on the upcoming general elections in India in 2024.

Location: Purandar, nearly 40 to 45 km from Pune

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Rewa Airport, Madya Pradesh

As part of the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme, the existing Rewa Airfield (with a 1400 m runway and a small building) is being developed into a proper airport suitable for ATR-72 operations, at a cost of INR 300 crore. This upcoming domestic airport in Madhya Pradesh will see a land accretion of 290 additional acres. A new terminal building is planned across 750 sqm with a peak hour capacity of 50 passengers. The foundation stone for the expansion project was laid in February 2023 and the airport is expected to begin domestic operations in September 2023. It will connect Rewa with cities including Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Location: Chorhata, nearly 11 km from Rewa City

One thought on “Indian Aviation’s Vision 2040 for 1.1bn Travelers: What are Upcoming International Airports in India in 2023 and 2024

  1. Sharad Tiwari

    Why is there no airport for Uttrankhand as it is badly in need of new mode of transportation due to overburdened other forms of transportation


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