The Centre is working on adopting the land-pooling methodology as an alternative mechanism for development and expansion of airports. This is being done to overcome the challenges that come with unavailability of land due to the surge in compensation cost for airport expansion projects since January 2015, when the First Schedule to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, kicked in.
“If the proposal receives an approval at the Government of India level then states will probably have to adopt some of the features of land-pooling in their respective state acts to give it legal teeth. It may take some time but the way I look at it, it is the way forward to plan airports in Indian cities
“Most of the airports are in congested parts of the city now that there is no scope for growth, and land acquisition in fully constructed areas around airports is difficult. The ministry is looking at the land-pooling method, which has been done in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra,”
Recently, representatives from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh made presentations to senior officials in the civil aviation ministry, including both ministers and the secretary, about their experiences “on the effectiveness of land-pooling” as an alternative to land acquisition for developing urban infrastructure. “Based on that, we gave an assignment to the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad for three greenfield airports to see whether they can be planned using land-pooling, and three brownfield airports to see whether they can be expanded
On account of high passenger traffic growth in the country, a severe capacity constraint for expansion of infrastructure at various airports is also being experienced. Therefore, for AAI, while plans have been chalked out to expand capacities of terminals and bays at airports, data shows that many of the airports will reach saturation even after being expanded for lack of land availability.