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A representative from Navi Mumbai International Airport Ltd (NMIAL) reported that the airfield is ahead of schedule, with only a small hill left. The runway, taxiway, apron, and more are 60% complete, with the runway reaching 70%. The hill’s demolition involves joint efforts by MIAL and Cidco, with Cidco’s part expected to be completed by mid-January, overcoming earlier delays. NMIAL, a subsidiary with MIAL holding 74%, is confident about meeting the December 2024 timeline for commercial operations, targeting an initial capacity of 20 million passengers. Despite delays reported by Capa India, NMIAL remains optimistic, with ongoing talks with airlines for operations and plans for future phases.

The spokesperson emphasized completing the initial phase before financial closure for subsequent phases and addressed concerns about connectivity, stating that delays in infrastructural projects like the Ulwe Coastal Road won’t hinder connectivity but acknowledged it won’t be “ideal.” The Navi Mumbai Airport aims to alleviate congestion at Mumbai’s international airport, targeting a capacity of 60 million passengers in the next few years.

The airport is set to be ready for DGCA inspections from September onwards and plans to start operations in the winter schedule of 2024. In contrast to Mumbai International Airport’s second terminal, the under-construction Navi airport may differ with a lotus-themed interior, increased space for private jets, higher parking fees for fossil-fuel-based vehicles, and a focus on digital art, as emphasized by the spokesperson.

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