India issues global tender for building new Mumbai airport

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India has asked for interest from global companies to build and operate a new airport, estimated to cost nearly S$2.5 billion initially, in the outskirts of the financial capital Mumbai to meet growing air traffic.

The airport will be built in partnership with the government, and will be expanded over four phases. Air passenger traffic via Mumbai is expected to exceed 40 million by 2017 and more than 100 million by 2030, according to a state agency study.

The government released on Wednesday the initial documents for the two-stage bidding process for the airport, which is planned to be operational by 2017.

The first two phases are estimated to cost 95 billion rupees (S$1.9 billion), while there will be a pre-development cost of 23.58 billion rupees, the City and Industrial Development Corp of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO), state agency said.

The airport, proposed to be developed over an area of 1,160 hectares, will start with a capacity to handle 10 million passengers a year and will have an ultimate annual capacity for 60 million passengers a year, after expansion.

Mumbai and New Delhi are the two major international air gateways in India. The existing Mumbai airport, run by a consortium of infrastructure firm GVK and the state-run airport operator, recently increased its passenger-handling capacity by opening a new terminal.

The joint-venture company running the Mumbai airport has a right of first refusal for the new airport.

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