Navi Mumbai Airport gets defence nod

Though the environmental clearances for the Navi Mumbai airport took years, the defence nod came in just a few days. The Maharashtra state government on Wednesday received a letter from the defence ministry giving the green signal to the Navi Mumbai airport. After the MoEF clearances last weekchief minister Prithviraj Chavan wrote to Union defence minister A K Antony for a speedy defence clearance. The navy had said that they had no jurisdiction over the Navi Mumbai site. The Indian Air Force headquarters examined the proposal and the defence ministry cleared it with 15 conditions. The conditions require that all incoming and outgoing planes must have defence clearances. Military planes must be exempt from parking, landing and housing charges and the radio navigational facilities must be made available to defence authorities. The IAF also stated that there must be effective coordination between the IAF-controlled Lohegaon airport in Pune’s air traffic control. Officials said only the forest clearance is pending now and they could have some reservations as the Karnala bird sanctuary is located nearby.

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