Alternative: Panvel airport on Island?

airport on island

  • Union environment ministry favored an alternative proposal to build it on an island on which airport will be built.
  • The Dutch model of creating the island and building the airport on it would cut costs by half, including the value of the land to be compensated, relief and rehabilitation package.
  • The talks with the local villagers over acquisition of 671 hectares of land had ground to a standstill in recent weeks. 
  • As villagers upped the ante on recently, the new model of building the airport on island can be a win-win situation.

An Airport at Panvel makes no sense


  • Developers has to change course of rivers
  • Coast erosion
  • Bird problems
  • Increase transit time
  • Competitive disadvantage



As per Cidco (City industrial Development Corporation), the nodal agency for the project, claims that airport at Panvel will be operational in 2017. But this is unlikely.

From ecological and civil engineering point of view the airport site is about the worst anywhere.

  • Developers will have to change course of ‘Ulwe’ River, widen ‘Gadhi’ River to avoid flooding.
  • They will have to cut down two hillocks, cut down 160 hectares of mangrove forest that protect coast erosion.
  • Kanrnala Bird Sanctuary is 9.5 KM away from the site. Bird ingestion into aero-engines can be as fatal to aircraft and passengers as to birds.
  • Most of important transit traffic at Mumbai’s airport is domestic. As Panvel’s will have mainly domestic operations, the international travellers arriving at Mumbai will have to travel to Panvel to catch connecting flights. Increasing transit time.
  • An airport used by many airlines (international) as a transit hub offers greater connectivity with major destinations globally, and higher frequency of services. India does not have a single regional hub. The second airport at Panvel will put Mumbai at a competitive disadvantage.

Facts: Delhi and Mumbai ranks 37th and 48th respectively on world passenger rankings.

Reference: “An Airport at Panvel makes no sense” by Hormuz P Mama. Economic Times, Page 14. 22nd Oct 2013