Shortly after taking over the reins of the ministry, Civil Aviation Minister, Mahesh Sharma, who is also representing the area in the Parliament, has initiated steps to revive the Greater Noida Airport project. The new airport, which is being planned at Jewar on the outskirts of Delhi in the NCR region, is in fact a strategically important project, as the area has huge potential for industrial development and the ministry is weighing the option of tweaking the norms to allow a second green field airport within a 150-km radius of an existing one, he said adding that the Jewar airport proposal was first mooted in 2001 by the then Uttar Pradesh CM Rajnath Singh, and later pushed by his successor Mayawati but it goes against the existing policy as the distance between Jewar and Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is less than 150 km. The government can, however, approve establishment of green field airports at places where an existing airport is unable to meet the projected requirements of traffic. It can be allowed both as a replacement for an existing airport or for simultaneous operation. The government has already acquired about 2,378 acres of land in 2003 for the airport and that more land is also available in the vicinity of the airport project.
He elaborated further that the existing infrastructure in the IGI airport in Delhi will not be able to cope with the growing air traffic and a new airport near the national capital will help to a greater extent. Driving home his viewpoint he added that the population in Delhi-NCR is projected to increase from the current 1.6 million to 2.45 million by 2030 and there is a need to develop a second international airport. Moreover, the IGI airport in Delhi recorded a jump in air traffic from 16.2 million in 2005-06 to 36.9 million in the last fiscal. According to the CEO (South Asia) at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Kapil Kaul, the land earmarked earlier for the Greater Noida airport should have been acquired for the second airport in NCR region as now the land would be costlier and could also face challenges delaying the project. As a matter of fact, the country's airport development plan lacks a long-term focus and the country needs a structured master plan for airports lasting for generations, he insisted.