Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year.
The airport, located in Greater Noida’s Jewar area in western Uttar Pradesh, will be Asia’s biggest, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had claimed on Wednesday, according to ANI.
The airport is spread over more than 1,300 hectares, according to The Indian Express. The first phase of the airport is scheduled to be completed by 2024 and will have a capacity to serve around 1.2 crore passengers in a year. The airport is expected to expand and serve 7 crore passengers by the end of fourth phase of its construction.
After laying the foundation stone of the airport, Modi said that it will be the “logistics gateway of northern India”.
“It will put Noida and western Uttar Pradesh on the global map,” he said.
The prime minister said that the airport will be the largest centre for repairing, maintaining and operating aircraft. “A facility for maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft will be built in the area of 40 acres here, which will provide employment to hundred of youths,” he said.
Modi alleged that the earlier governments in the state had ignored development in western Uttar Pradesh. He claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party government had thought of developing the airport two decades ago, but the project got stuck due to the Congress-led government at the Centre and non-BJP ruling parties in the state.
Once operational, it will be the fifth international airport in Uttar Pradesh – the most in any state – according to NDTV.