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Airport city in Durgapur to create 90,000 jobs

The country’s first airport city, Durgapur Aertropolis, a Rs 10,000-crore project, will create 90,000 jobs over the next 8-9 years.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 14, 2011, 10.03 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The country’s first airport city, Durgapur Aertropolis, a Rs 10,000-crore project, will create 90,000 jobs over the next 8-9 years. The promoter of the project, Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL), is also looking to construct a MRO facility for narrow-bodied aircraft by 2013. “Over the next 8-9 years, the airport city will have a residential population of 68,000 persons, 90,000 visitors from catchment areas like Asansole and Raniganj, and will create 90,000 jobs," BAPL CEO Subrata Paul told ET.

The airport-city project aims at combining infrastructure and urban development together , he added. The greefield project will be spread across 930 hectares that will include a 220 hectare industrial and IT park, a logisitics hub and a 263 hectare township. The total land required for the project is about 2,300 acres.

The first phase of the project till June 2012 will cost . 600 crore. This includes putting up of social infrastructure like hospitals, educational institutes and shopping malls by the end of this year.

“We are in talks with Apollo for setting up a hospital, Taiwanese companies for setting up the IT Park and Singaporean hospitality chains to set up a hotel. Talks with developers are also on for housing projects, an educational institute and a shopping mall to attract traffic, “Paul said. Hard investments on all these are expected to come by year-end , he added.

The greenfield airport complex with a capacity of half a million passengers, expects to see traffic of 350,000 in its first year of operations, as the first flight takes off from the facility in June. The airport would have a 2,800-feet long runway to accommodate aircraft like Boeing B-737 s and Airbus A-320 s. It can be extended to 3,300 feet to meet the needs of larger aircraft. BAPL is currently scouting for a South-East Asian partner to build a maintain-repair-overhaul (MRO) facility for narrow-bodied aircraft like Boeing 737, Airbus 320 and 319s.

Construction of the MRO is expected to be complete by 2013. "For any company to set up their initial MRO operations in the Aerotropolis region an investment of . 30 crore would be required,” Paul said.

According to sector experts, India will be the largest aircraft purchaser in the next five years and currently, planes go to South-East Asia for maintenance. "We have enough land, infrastructure and are geographically well positioned to cash-in on this opportunity. We'll also look to cater to business jets later,” Paul added.

A plan to create a logistics hub to support the MRO is also in the works. BAPL is also trying to create a Free Trade Warehousing Zone, from where airline companies can easily access spare parts. Changi Airport Group (CAG), which has also developed an aerotropolis in Singapore, holds a 26% stake in the project.

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