India's civil aviation minister to fast-track Navi Mumbai airport project

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India's civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has assured the Maharashtra government that the development of the Navi Mumbai International Airport will be fast-tracked.

Singh says that clearances required for the construction to start will be sped up.

The cabinet committee on infrastructure now has to look into the legal aspects of the project, including bid documents, contractual liabilities and infrastructure and environmental issues, before giving the final go ahead, he adds.

The project has been delayed for years since the cabinet granted an in-principle approval for the airport in May 2007.

IATA's director general Tony Tyler has hit out at the delays several times, saying that the airport's two proposed runways and 60 million passenger capacity is "much needed" for the country's capital. The first phase of the project was scheduled to open in 2014, but land acquisition has not even been resolved and construction has yet to be started.