AIR Spotlight - Creating Next-Generation Urban Infrastructure

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, a discussion on the various new infrastructure initiatives of the government is featured.


  • Sharad Kohli: Economic Analyst
  • Ruchika Chitravansi, Journalist

Noida’s Jewar Airport

  • Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi has led the foundation of Noida’s Jewar Airport. The Airport is in line with the PM’s vision of boosting connectivity and creating a future-ready aviation sector.
  • The Jewar airport, once ready, will be the largest airport in Asia. This is a very strategic project which was thought of two decades ago.
  • The airport will serve people from North India, especially those who belong to Haryana, Punjab, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
  • The airport is well connected to other areas through expressways. This connectivity will also give a boost to economic growth in the region.
  • The airport will start operating in 2024.
  • It will also be a NET ZERO greenhouse gas emission airport, meaning it will not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and hence climate change.

Significance of Airport Infrastructure:

  • As per data of July 2021, India’s aviation market is 16 billion US dollars.
  • Currently, India is the tenth-largest aviation market in the world. With such projects, it will become the third-largest by 2024.
  • The Jewar airport project will lay the foundation for future development.
  • It must be emphasized that an airport is not just a part of aviation infrastructure. It also supports a whole range of economic activities. For example, in the vicinity of Delhi Airport, there are shopping areas, apartments, etc.
  • India has 137 airports altogether, out of which 103 are domestic airports and the rest are international airports.
  • The Prime Minister has stated that he wants to “see a common man wearing Hawai chappal fly in an airplane”. His vision is to make air travel affordable to common people.
  • Uttar Pradesh has now five international airports (including Jewar Airport).
  • The number of people using air transport has increased significantly over the years, so much so that the Civil Aviation Minister has stated that his ministry is thinking of constructing a second airport in every metro city.

Road Infrastructure:

  • Under Bharatmala phase I and II, 5000 km of highways have been constructed.
  • Road construction plays a very important role in strengthening the logistics sector. 
  • It has also a multiplier effect. For every rupee spent on road construction, the return is eight times.

Importance of infrastructure in the development of the country:

  • One of the factors which differentiate a developing country from a developed country is its infrastructure. Developed countries have well-planned infrastructure such as roads, airports, etc. India is on the path to strengthening its infrastructure.
  • Efficient infrastructure is also essential for India to become a 5 trillion dollar economy.
  • For companies that are thinking of moving out of China and are searching for a second alternative, India is a good option. However, many investors are sceptical about choosing India because they worry about higher logistics costs due to a lack of efficient and well-connected infrastructure.
  • The Rs 104 lakh crore, National Infrastructure Pipeline is an ambitious plan to strengthen infrastructure in India.
  • India is on the path to developing quality infrastructure. Now, Airforce’s jets can land on specific highways. This is a great achievement in terms of quality.
  • With seamless integration of Air, Road and Railway Infrastructure, movement of goods and people will become more efficient and this will benefit economic growth of the country.
  • The construction of various infrastructure projects has boosted economic growth. After the pandemic, the focus was on government spending to boost economic activities. Investment in infrastructure construction by the government brought many benefits in terms of asset creation and employment generation.

Way forward:

The construction of various infrastructure projects will not only help India in meeting domestic demand and attracting investors but also in strategic terms. Through extensive infrastructure construction, India can surpass China both in terms of infrastructure and economic growth.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

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