Delayed by two decades: why India’s flight to a two-airport system will be riddled with turbulence

Prime Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Noida Airport today; image credit: Twitter @narendramodi


As Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone for the Noida International Airport, India will inch closer to a two-airport system. It is expected to bring in more competition, improve services, and boost local economies. But there are concerns that the private sector-led expansion could create regulatory minefields if it’s not executed with utmost care.

In August this year, when Shailendra Bhatia showed up at the site of the upcoming Noida airport on the outskirts of Delhi, he knew that he was up against a very challenging task. Just a few kilometres away, a massive farmers’ protest was underway in full media glare. The Noida International Airport’s nodal officer was entrusted with the job of convincing the people living in the surrounding areas, including the agitating farmers, to relocate so

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