GREATER NOIDA: The final concession agreement for Jewar international airport was signed between the UP government and Swiss major Zurich AG in Greater Noida on Wednesday afternoon, paving the way for the project to move past paperwork and enter the construction stage.

Senior Zurich AG executives, who were in Noida to sign the pact, said they expected to get physical possession of 1,334 hectares —required for the first phase of the airport — in the next six months and construction to begin next June. The airport’s first phase, which will have two runways, has a commissioning deadline of 2024.
The 40-year agreement was signed around 1.20pm at the office of the Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) in Omega 1 sector. Christoph Schnellmann, chief executive officer of Yamuna International Airport Private Limited — the special purpose vehicle set up by Zurich in January this year for the airport project — and Arun Vir Singh, director of NIAL, were the signatories. SP Goyal, additional chief secretary to the chief minister, and Surendra Singh, director of the civil aviation directorate, were also present for the signing. Singh and Ritu Maheshwari, the CEO of Noida Authority, signed as witnesses.
First phase of Jewar airport to handle 12M people yearly
In order to avoid a big gathering, the proceedings were screened live on social media platforms and through Zoom. Martin Max Schmidli, head of international operations at Zurich, and Daniel Bircher, CEO (Asia), attended the event through Zoom.
Bircher said the signing of the agreement marked an “important milestone” in the development of the airport, whose first phase will have a capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually. “In partnership with the government of Uttar Pradesh and the government of India, Zurich Airport International looks forward to making this airport a major player in Indian air transportation and a benchmark for ease of use for passengers and logistic partners. We are a committed and trusted partner for India’s growth, and see tremendous opportunity to invest and participate in India’s aviation growth story,” he said in a statement.
Goyal saw business sentiment in the region getting a turbo boost because of the airport. “The Jewar international airport has the potential to uplift sentiments in the entire Noida and Greater Noida belt. More investments will pour in here because apart from dealing with passenger traffic, Jewar will also emerge as the industrial, logistical and cargo hub,” he said.
The Noida and Greater Noida industrial development authorities have already opened the doors to private players for setting up warehouses and other logistical infrastructure in the area. They have increased the floor area ratio for such units by 33%.
Though the proposed airport has received environmental and security clearance from the Centre, the concession deal is the official document formally brings in Zurich AG as the company that will design, build and operate the airport for the period of 40 years. Work cannot start unless the concession agreement is signed.
The first date for signing the deal was scheduled for July 2, almost six weeks after the project got security clearance from the Centre. However, Zurich sought a 45-day extension because of the restrictions on international travel and the date was pushed to August 17. A third deadline — October 15 — was set as the restrictions continued.
The government, which has already acquired 1,334 hectares required for the first phase of the project, crossed the final hurdle on Monday when it handed over land in Jewar Bangar village to NIAL to develop a township for the 3,627 families who will have to be rehabilitated there. The UP government is eyeing a total revenue of Rs 4,588 crore from the first phase of airport operations between 2024 and 2027. It is also hoping to earn Rs 29,650 crore through the 40-year deal.

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