(Eds: Adding official statement and more inputs) Mumbai/New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) The civil aviation ministry today gave site clearance approval to the proposed greenfield international airport at Purander, some 20 km from Pune, over two-and-a-half years after state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the location of the new aerodrome.Also Read - How Jewar International Airport Will be a Blessing For First-time Homebuyers in Noida, Greater Noida

Besides, the ministry also accorded ‘in-principle’ approval to the UP government for setting up of a greenfield international airport at Jewar village in Noida (UP), an official release said. Also Read - Noida Jinx: CM Yogi Breaks it Yet Again, But Why Former UP Chief Ministers Averted The City | Explained

“Accepting the recommendations made by the steering committee on greenfield airports, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu today accorded site clearance approval to the greenfield international airport at Purander, Pune,” the release said. Also Read - Noida, Greater Noida Traffic Update: List of Roads to Avoid Due to Bhoomi Pujan of Jewar International Airport

The minister also accorded ‘in-principle’ approval to the UP government for setting up of Noida international greenfield airport at the north of Jewar Village in the state, it added.

The existing Pune civil enclave, functions from the Indian Air Force airbase at Lohegaon, which houses the Sukhoi fleet, and thereby it restricts flight movements and further expansion, necessiating the need for a new airport altogether.

The passenger traffic at Pune airport surged 20.6 per cent to 8.16 million in fiscal 2017-18, compared with 6.76 million in fiscal 2016-17, as per the latest AAI data.

Earlier, Prabhu had, in a tweet, said that the existing airport has exhausted its capacity and this new airport will help in flying more passenger and (carry out out) cargo operations to the vibrant city of Pune.

The new airport will come up at an estimated cost of Rs 14,000 crore and will be spread across 2,400 hectare.

As per the ministry, one of the conditions of site clearance approval to new international airport at Pune is that the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), the agency executing the project, will try not to close the existing Pune airport.

“It (MADC) will accordingly take up the matter with the Defence Ministry and will try to make both the airports available for civil use. With the grant of site clearance approval, the MADC may proceed with preparation of techno economic feasibility report and detailed project report,” the release said.

The aviation ministry had granted site clearance to the Jewar international airport in July last year. The UP government appointed Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) as the implementing agency on its behalf in October 2017, which obtained the no objection certificate (NOC) from the defence ministry in January.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.