Navi Mumbai Airport's Surveillance Radar-1 Receives Environmental Clearance

Navi Mumbai Airport's Surveillance Radar-1 Receives Environmental Clearance

The ASR, a critical air navigation and surveillance facility for the operation of NMIA, is proposed to be set up at Dhakale island in Shahbaz village of Panvel taluka in Raigad district

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 09:25 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai International Airport | Twitter/@I_m_michael_asr

In what could be termed as a big achievement in meeting the December 31, 2024 deadline for the completion of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), has accorded environmental clearance for the construction of the Airport Surveillance Radar-1 (ASR). The ASR, a critical air navigation and surveillance facility for the operation of NMIA, is proposed to be set up at Dhakale island in Shahbaz village of Panvel taluka in Raigad district.

The EAC deliberated the issue in its 355th meeting for projects related to CRZ held on February 5, 2024 and the recommendations were uploaded on February 16, 2024.

The committee deliberated the proposal based on the information provided/presented by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) and noted that the project activity is permissible as per CRZ Notification, 2019 and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has recommended the proposal. Further, the EAC directed that CIDCO should prepare a Mangrove Management Plan for safeguarding the ecological health of adjacent mangroves other than compensatory mangrove afforestation.

A vital facility

Noting that the ASR-1 is vital facility required for secure functioning of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, the EAC decided to recommend the proposal from CRZ point of view to MoEF&CC subject to compliance of certain conditions.

Stating that prior forest clearance under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 should be obtained before commissioning of the project, the EAC said prior permission from the Bombay High Court has to be obtained since the project involves cutting of Mangroves and activities are situated within 50 m mangrove buffer zone area.

The EAC also said that all construction shall be strictly done in accordance with the provisions of the CRZ Notification, 2019, as amended from time to time and that the flow of natural tidal water to mangroves should remain un-affected, thus ensuring adequate measures to maintain un-interrupted tidal water to mangroves. Similarly, solid waste generated during operation/construction phase should not be dumped in CRZ areas for avoiding bird related interference for air traffic management and should managed as per the provisions of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, it recommended.

The CIDCO will also have to acquire all necessary clearance from the concerned authority, as may be applicable, prior to commencement of project or activity and that all the conditions stipulated by the MCZMA for CRZ clearance, and commitments made by the CIDCO before the CZMA and EAC shall be followed in letter and spirit.

CIDCO presented that the ASR-1 is to be installed and operated by Airport Authority of India (AAI) at Dhakale Island which would comprise of land development works, construction of jetty with supporting infrastructure, access road connecting bridge on creek¸ required utility services for ASR-1 building, radar antenna tower and other required infrastructure inside the ASR-1 plot.

The NMIA is planned to support the ever-growing air travel demand of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The new airport is planned for airport capacity of minimum 60 million passengers per annum (MPPA) with aircraft separation as minimum as 3 Nautical miles and is planned for High Intensity Runway Operations (HIRO). Accordingly, the AAI has planned for 3 Airport Surveillance Radar system to ensure adequate performance and redundancy. 

After studying the technical feasibility and simulations, it was finalized by AAI to install one such Airport Surveillance Radar System (ASR 1) at Dhakale Island, village Shahabaj, Navi Mumbai. Hence, it is essential to develop the ASR-1 plot area and install the surveillance radar to monitor and manage the aircraft until landing, thereby ensuring safety of aircraft at NMIA, which is to be commissioned by December, 2024. Therefore, construction work of ASR-1 needs to be completed by June 2024, so that radar installation, testing and commissioning can be completed by December, 2024.  

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