New terminal opens at Mumbai airport

Terminal will boost passenger numbers to 40m a year

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Mumbai airport, the gateway to India's main financial centre, has opened a new international terminal in its first major upgrade in three decades.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architects of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport will boost the airport's passenger handling capacity by about a third to 40m a year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at the opening.

The project is aimed at boosting the infrastructure of the country which has seen an economic decline and a falling off of investment in the past 12 months.

Access is via an elevated express road and the terminal also has an art museum and a glass facade.

Its use of natural light also makes it one of the most energy-efficient terminals in the country.

"It is the most magnificent building built since independence," said Praful Patel, union minister for heavy industries.

However, critics of the project say parts of a nearby slum district were demolished, uprooting families and destroying homes.


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