Will the New Noida Airport be 'Biggest in Asia'? Here's How Others Compare
The airport, which spans over 1,300 hectares of land, has been heralded as Asia's largest airport by BJP ministers.
The much-touted Noida International Airport in Uttar Pradesh's Jewar, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 25 November, has been lauded by the government as a "gamechanger" for its "scale and capacity".
The airport, which spans over a whopping 1,300 hectares of land in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, has been heralded as Asia's largest airport.
"This will be the first airport in Asia free from all types of pollution. This will be the largest airport in Asia," UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had been quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Tuesday, 23 November.
Further, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said, "It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's direction that Asia's biggest airport has to be built in Uttar Pradesh... It was an ambitious resolution of the prime minister, which has come true today," he stated, as per news agency PTI.
While the Jewar Airport certainly spells a giant step towards a "future-ready aviation sector," as the government says, there are other airports in Asia that rank higher on size and the scale of operations as of now.
Here's a comparative analysis.
Is the Jewar Airport Really the Largest in Size in Asia? No!
The Noida International Airport expands over a 1,300 hectares (13 square kilometers) stretch of land, and will have six runways once all its expansions are completed.
Saudi Arabia's King Fahd International Airport, which is located in Dammam, holds the Guinness record for being the largest airport in the world.
The airport encompasses 780 square kilometers of land – nearly four times the size of the entire city of Noida, which covers 203 square kilometers of area.
Upon completion, the two terminals at Jewar will cover 4,88,000 square meters of land, as per reports.
As compared to this, Beijing Daxing's terminal is already more than 700,000 square meters in size.
In all fairness, government officials have indicated that plans have been formulated for further expansion of the Noida International Airport. However, as of yet, the airport is not the 'largest airport of Asia' in terms of size.
Will the Noida Airport See the Most Number of Flights in Asia?
As per official data, the Jewar airport, which is slated to open for operations in 2024, expects to see 96,400 flight movements (landings or takeoffs) per year in the first phase. The first phase will last till 2036-37, when operations are scheduled to enter the second phase.
The fourth and the final phase, construction for which is slated to begin around 2040, will enlarge the airport's capacity to 4,89,700 flight movements per year by 2050.
Data published by the Airports Council International shows that two of China's airports were handling more flights by 2017 than the fully-functional Jewar airport is expect to see in 2050.
The Beijing Capital International Airport was witnessing 6,06,686 flights in 2016, data indicate. The Shanghai Pudong International Airport saw 496,774 flight movements in 2017.
What About Passenger Traffic?
The Jewar airport is expected to witness 12 million passengers in the first phase, data provided by the government indicates.
The UP airport, 70 million passengers per year after the completion of the fourth phase of work around 2050.
As compared to this, the Beijing Capital International Airport was handling more than 94 million (9,43,93,454) passengers in 2016, data from Airports Council International show.
In the same year, the Dubai International airport saw 83.6 million travellers, while both the Tokyo Haenda airport as well as the Hong Kong International Airport saw over 70 million passengers.
By 2019, seven Asian airports were handling over 70 million passengers.
The passenger traffic for these airports had plummeted exponentially in 2020, after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. China's Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport saw 43.7 million travellers in the year – the most in the world.
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