UP chief minister Mayawati’s push for a second international airport at Greater Noida may come as a shot in the arm for realty players. Real estate analysts expect that capital value of existing residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects in Noida and Greater Noida are likely to go up in the short term.

However, one concern is this may even lead to speculative rise in real estate rates, with focus of investors shifting from Gurgaon to Noida. “If a well-planned international airport does come up at Greater Noida, this could mark the beginning of shift in the development axis from Gurgaon to Noida in the long-term,” noted Mr Ankur Srivastava, managing director, DTZ India, a real estate consultancy firm.

In last six months, no real estate deals had taken place in Noida and Greater Noida due to political uncertainty in the state. However, the situation is expected to change soon, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh responding positively to the new chief minister’s plea for a Rs 15,000-crore developmental package for the state, particularly for improving key infrastructure areas like power, roads and development of an international airport at Noida.

Already several domestic and international hospitality majors including Unitech, Carlson, ITC, Bharat Hotels, NRI hotelier Sant Chatwal, have lined up five-star luxury projects in Greater Noida. An international airport in the vicinity will improve the viability of these projects. “The second airport will have a positive impact on the hospitality projects,” said Manav Thadani of HVS International, a hospitality industry consultancy.

Several global cities, such as New York and London, have at least two international airports. Aviation analysts point out given the traffic growth in Delhi airport, a second airport in the city is quiet viable, without impacting the bottom line of the first one. Moreover, the GMR group, which is involved in upgrading the Delhi International Airport, has the right to match the highest bidder for the new airport, if they are within 10% of the bid figure.

“As per our passenger traffic projections, Delhi should have over 25 million passengers by 2010. The second airport can very well take some load off us,” Points out a spokesperson from the GMR Group. GMR Group is already modelling the development of the current airport as an Aeropolis or “a city within the airport” encompassing hotels,commercial office space, convention centre, and space for leisure activities.
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