Mumbai, Feb 20 (ANI): Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Friday announced a new integrated passenger terminal building at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Sahar.
The ground breaking ceremony was performed in the presence of Patel and the Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan here.
The new terminal building will cater to both domestic and international passengers.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is India's busiest airport, with passenger traffic of 25.8 million per annum.
According to the sources, the terminal building will have a total floor area of approximately 4.3 million square meters spread across four levels.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister thanked the Civil Aviation Minister for his association, and said, "The growth of business requires better connectivity and good airport. International travellers are coming to Mumbai and Pune. Today, we are compared with the other growing cities of the world. I am really obliged by the initiative taken by the department and other private enterprises, which have joined hands with India."
Addressing the media persons, Patel said, "The problem with the aviation industry globally as well as in India, is the slowdown in the economic recession, which has taken its toll. International traffic is much lower and domestic traffic has also significantly come down. Last year's Mumbai terror attacks have also affected the international traffic."
He, however, assured that the government has taken a number of steps including reduction of duty on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and price revision of ATF to help the aviation sector.
The minister also said the government would take action if there was evidence of a cartel.
He further added that watchdog Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission was investigating a fare increase by airlines last week.
Meanwhile, the airport located within the city, its modernization and up-gradation is considered a challenge because of land constraints.
The proposed new airport terminal is being built by removing slum dwellers of the area leading to protests by some of them.
The protestors demanded immediate rehabilitation of the slum dwellers.
The police later arrested the protestors. (ANI)