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Dholera International Airport – The Largest Airport in India

Posted by Joel Mascarenhas on 23rd March 2022

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Gujarat is all set to build its newest and largest greenfield airport, Dholera International Airport. The airport will cater to Dholera Smart city as well as handle the traffic overflow from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad.

Gujarat has three international airports, out of which Ahmedabad is its busiest airport. Since, Ahmedabad airport is currently running at full capacity, therefore the Dholera airport will be an alternative airport to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.

An Overview Of Dholera International Airport 

Gujarat plans to build the Dholera airport in 2 phases. The first phase will cater to a capacity of 1.1 – 5.5 million passengers annually. Once the second phase is fully complete then the airport will be able to handle a capacity of 50 million per year.

Infographic of Dholera International Airport

Currently, phase one of the project has received approval for Rs 636 crore of the total Rs 987 crore from different departments of the Centre, according to Ahmedabad Mirror.

Where Is Dholera Airport Located?

The Dholera International Airport is currently being built at the Navagam village

Infographic showing the location Dholera International Airport from Ahmedabad

Timelines For the Airport

Infographic showing Dholera Airport timelines

Feb 2014: Government accorded site clearance for the green field airport project.

Jun-2015: Construction is expected to commence in 3QFY2015/16.

Dec-2015: India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granted approval.

Jan-2016: The first phase is expected to be complete by the end of 2018

Sep-2016: Dholera International Airport project will likely see a developer appointed for its construction by Jul-2017 according to DMIC

Nov-2018: Mr Shivahare (DSIR CEO ) stated that DIAC aims to commence works to develop the airport in 2019

Jul-2019- Expected to commence in Oct-2020 and be completed within four years.

Oct-2021- Expected to be completed by Dec-2024

Current Status And Approvals For Dholera Airport

  1. 1426 hectors of land selected at Village Navagam, Taluka Dholera.
  2. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has prepared the Feasibility Report.
  3. AAI has prepared the DPR and undertaken the EIA Study of the project
  4. No Objection for construction of an International Airport from Ministry of Defense (MoD)
  5. Site Clearance for the project from Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)
  6. Environment Clearance for the Project from the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change. (MoEF)
  7. In-Principle Approval from Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)
  8. Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Corporation Ltd. has been offered equity in DIACL
  9. The measurement & demarcation of the site is carried out by District Inspector of Land Records
  10. Stone pegs are placed on 182 peripheral boundary points.
  11. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is preparing Detail Project Survey (DPS)

Getting To Dholera International Airport. 

The Dholera international airport is located north of Dholera Smart City & Bhavnagar, and south of Ahmedabad city. The site is accessible via NH-751 highway.

Traveling From Ahmedabad To Dholera Airport

In just 2 hour 20 minutes by road using the NH-751 highway you can travel from Ahmedabad to Dholera.

Map showing the time taken from Ahmedabad to Dholera Airport

In the future, Dholera Airport will be connected to Ahmedabad through the 108 kms Ahmedabad – Dholera 8 lane expressway and a monorail which is currently under construction reducing the time to under 1 hour.

Map showing the time taken from Ahmedabad to Dholera Monorail and Expressway

Distance And Cost From Ahmedabad To Dholera Airport

In 2022, the distance from Ahmedabad to Dholera Airport is 108 kms and you can take a same day return cab from Ahmedabad to Dholera and back to Ahmedabad will cost you Rs. 3000.

What Are the benefits of Having Dholera’s airport in Gujarat?

The lack of an international airport in the Saurashtra region and its vicinity will make Dholera international airport strategic and advantageous in many ways. The upcoming airport will be an advantage for the aerospace, defense and manufacturing industries who look forward to investing in the greenfield industrial smart city of Dholera and will provide greater impetus to tourism and travel in Gujarat.

Map showing the Dholera International Airport for Gujarat
  1.  The airport will handle the increasing traffic from the nearby cities like Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Nadiad, and Anand.
  2. It will propel an airport-led economic growth in the entire region in line with other Aerotropolis worldwide.
  3.  The airport project would make use of eco-friendly solutions and sustainable technologies to earn maximum carbon credits.

Importance of An International Airport For Dholera Smart City

Map showing transportation of air cargo at Dholera International Airport

The proposed Dholera International Airport project would serve the logistic requirement of upcoming Dholera SIR besides handling the spill over traffic from existing Ahmedabad Airport in future.

  1. The Dholera international airport will serve as an alternative for the Ahmedabad airport.
  2. So the Ahmedabad airport has a 7.5 mil capacity but now is exceeding to 11 mil, the Dholera airport will help divert the traffic. 
  3. Dholera international airport connects many of the smart cities of gujarat. 
  4. It will be a game changer for international travelers of Bhavnagar, Anand, Rajkot and Vadodhara.
  5. It will also play a major role in air cargo. 

The Maintenance, repair and overhaul opportunity for India 

What Is a MRO? 

MRO stands for maintenance, repair and overhaul, it’s a facility that services aircrafts. For example, we send our car to a garage for regular servicing every 4 months, in the same way an aircraft goes to an MRO airport for its repair and maintenance.

Aviation MRO refers to the specific repair, service or inspection of an aircraft. This ensures the safety and air worthiness of an aircraft.

The Opportunity for India

With more than 1,000 aircraft currently on order, India is on the path to become the third-largest buyer of commercial passenger planes in the world, after the US and China, representing a massive opportunity for MRO service providers in India.

APAC will grow the fastest in the MRO segment and According to IATA India is expected to become the third-largest aviation market by 2026

Map showing the Global MRO industry

The Indian MRO industry size may increase from US$ 1.7 billion in 2021 to US$ 4.0 billion by 2031, according to Deloitte.

Infographics showing the growth of MRO industry in India

Currently Singapore dominates the APAC market due to its established MRO hubs and the presence of major industry players, such as GE Aviation, Airbus, and Rolls-Royce.

Statistics showing the Dominace of Singapore in the MRO industry

In summary, the future aviation growth in India is:

  • By 2020, it is expected to be the third largest aviation market, and the largest by 2030.
  • India’s fleet size is 432 (as of February 2016); this could increase to 1000 by 2020 and more than 1600 by 2031.
  • The middle-income population is expected to increase from 160 million to 547 million by 2025. (2011).
  • The travel and tourism industry could grow to US$ 270 billion by 2023, up from US$ 119 billion today (2012).
  • Application of Advanced Air Navigation Technology (Project GAGAN).
  • There are plans to build 100 low-cost airports in Tier II and Tier III cities.
  • The Regional Connectivity Scheme is emphasised in the draught civil aviation policy.

How Are We Currently Doing MRO in India?

There are only handful of airports in India that are capable of doing MRO in India. At present, India outsources 90 percent MRO services to countries such as Singapore, the UAE, and Sri Lanka.

Map showing India outsourcing MRO to other countries

Problems With Existing MRO Airports in India

India’s current fleet of 600–700 aircraft is expected to reach more than 2,000 over the next 20 years, according to The Hindu Business Line

Statistics showing the problems faced with MRO in India

As India’s need for travel increases, the costs related to maintaining these aircrafts will increase dramatically. Some of the core problems India faces with its existing MRO infrastructure are: 

  • Unfavorable taxation structure
  • Component import procedures are cumbersome.
  • Foreign expert movement
  • Inadequate scale and infrastructure

Why Does India Need An MRO Airport At Dholera?

infographic showing vision 2040

To accommodate the growing number of civil and defence aircraft and optimise turnaround time, the country requires an MRO ecosystem.

A competitive MRO sector has many advantages because airlines can save money on fuel and logistics while also conserving foreign exchange.

Finally, creating an MRO ecosystem will benefit the economy by creating highly skilled job opportunities.

India wants to position itself as a leader in the Global MRO industry. To achieve this India crafted a vision 2040 for the MRO industry wherein

  • India would be able to meet 90 percent of its domestic carrier needs.
  • Foreign-registered aircraft must account for at least 20% of the Indian MRO industry’s revenue.
  • Almost 90% of re-delivery maintenance will be performed in India.

The Impact of the Dholera International Airport on India’s Economy 

As we discussed, the increase in travel will eventually lead to an increase in the maintenance cost as well. As of now we only have 8 MRO airports in India. 

When Dholera builds an MRO airport, not only our Indian airplanes but also international flights will be coming in which will result in a huge economic boost to the region.

As a result, in the coming years this International Airport will help boost the entire Aerospace Ecosystem in the state of Gujarat

Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Dholera  

Find some interesting facts

  1. The airport is strategically located amongst the big cities of the state like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Anand etc. while also connecting several international air routes.
  2. The site can accommodate two runways of 2910m and 4000m with parallel taxiways
  3. It will be Gujarat’s largest airport when completed
  4. It might be an MRO airport for India
  5. When completed it can handle 50 million passengers
  6. Its a Greenfield airport
  7. Dholera smart city’s large land parcel are attractive destination for Aerospace and Manufacturing industries
  8. DMICDC has an equity stake in DIACL.


In conclusion, Dholera smart city is building a new international airport. It will be completed in 2 phases. Phase-1 is a 3,200-meter-long runway suitable for type 4E aircraft and in Phase-2 the runway will be extended to 3,800 meters. 

A second runway will be developed and both runways will be capable of parallel operations. When these 2 phases are complete, the airport can entertain a 50 million passenger traffic, per annum. Not just that, Dholera will be a MRO airport, meaning it will repair Indian and international aircrafts which will lead to economic growth of India. 

Key Information on Dholera International Airport

When Will Dholera Airport Be Completed?

Dholera Airport project began in the year 2012 and would be completed in the end of year of 2024.

What Is the Current Status of Dholera Airport ?

Dholera airport has recieved all the necessary approvals and is currently under constrution. With the first phase expected to be completed by the end of year 2024.

What Is the Distance From Ahmedabad To Dholera Airport ?

The travel distance from Ahmedabad to Dholera airport is 2 hr 20 min via NH 751 highway.

What Is the Travel Cost To Dholera Airport ?

The travel cost from Ahmedabad Dholera Airport is 3000 rupees by taxi.

Where Is Dholera Airport Located in Gujarat ?

Dholera Airport is located in Navagam village of Ahmedabad district in Gujarat.

Which City in Gujarat Will Get A New Airport?

Since Ahmedabad airport is running at full capacity, a new International airport is being built at Dholera as a second airport for travellers to Ahmedabad.

Where Is Dholera in Ahmedabad?

Dholera SIR is located 108 KM south of Ahmedabad in the Gulf of Khambhat region of Gujarat.

What Is Greenfield Airport India?

Greenfield airport is a new airport which is constructed on a previously undeveloped site. 

How Do I Travel From Ahmedabad Airport (AMD) To Dholera Without A Car?

Either you take a taxi or a bus from Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar.

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