Greater Noida ready to take off
A heliport and a mini airstrip, planned as substitutes for the international project that was proposed in 2001 and subsequently scrapped, are on course to see the light of day soon. And with Mahesh Sharma, the Gautam Budh Nagar MP and newly appointed minister declaring his intention to revive the airport project, it’s an aviation bonanza for the twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida.
For a while now, the state government had been considering some sort of air connectivity for the region. With chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s nod in May last year, Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) went to work and has finished conceptualizing the heliport, expected to cost Rs 50 crore.
A feasibility report is already being prepared for the heliport project. The airstrip, about 800 metres in length and meant for use by small aircraft, is at the conceptual stage. ” This will be used by light, mid-sized aircraft,” an official said. “Currently, the wind direction required for the airstrip is being studied. Feasibility and technical aspects are also being evaluated before firming the proposal,” he added.
RITES, the consultant for GNIDA, is currently conducting a survey of the proposed site, said officials. “RITES India Ltd, our technical consultant, will complete the feasibility report by the next fortnight,” said a senior GNIDA official.
“The detailed report and other important documents will then be submitted before DGCA. We hope to get their approval and clearances soon,” he added.
The ambitious project was to have become operational this year, but hit a roadblock earlier this year. “We had identified a 25-acre plot for the heliport in Greater Noida’s Knowledge Park, which houses several educational institutes,” the official said. “After receiving a project report complied by experts, we decided to shift the location fearing noise pollution,” the official added. Currently, a 22-acre open area is being evaluated. It falls under Safipur village, along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway near Gautam Budh University.
Once ready, in about two years from now, the heliport would be a great asset not just for Uttar Pradesh but also neighboring states. Apart from passenger services, it is also expected to be used for medical and evacuation emergencies, tourism, etc. GNIDA has formed a team for the project and a well-known helicopter company is likely to assist the Authority in launching it, the official said.
Officials also said plans for the proposed heliport include setting up of a maintenance facility for operators and a training academy. GNIDA has also invited Microlight Aircraft Association of India to participate in the project.