MIHAN inks Cargo MoU with Deccan

The Multimodal International Hub Airport in Nagpur (MIHAN) has bagged the first big-ticket investment in the cargo sector. Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), the state-owned entity developing MIHAN and an SEZ in Nagpur, has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Deccan Cargo Private, a Deccan Airways company, to develop a cargo facility for Rs 1,400 crore. Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who heads MADC, and Deccan Airways executive chairman Captain Gopinath signed the MoU in Nagpur.This is the first cargo facility being set up at MIHAN, a Rs 7,000-crore project, spread over 4,454 hectares around the existing Nagpur airport, which includes an SEZ to be developed on 1,475 hectares. MADC vice-chairman and managing director RC Sinha said 65% work had been completed on MIHAN so far. The state-of-the-art Deccan Cargo facility will come up over 48 acres and the company will have 10 aircraft stationed in Nagpur for cargo movement, sources said. MADC officials said the cargo activity was expected to begin by January-February next year. The MIHAN project aims at private investment of around Rs 40,000 crore which would lead to direct employment for 1.2 lakh to 1.5 lakh people. MADC has acquired about 2,000 hectares so far and sold off around 600 hectares of developed land to IT majors, realty firms, health sector companies and the hospitality industry. IT majors like Satyam Computers, Shapoorji Pallonji and L&T Infocity, and realty biggies like DLF and Ambuja Realty have purchased land in the SEZ. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing Corporation has announced an investment of $185 million in setting up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility and an aeronautical training institute over 75 acres.Civil aviation minister Praful Patel, who attended the MoU-signing ceremony, assured the audience that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) would hand over the Nagpur airport to MADC by the end of this month. MADC is also likely to sort out another major problem by the end of this month as it plans to sign an agreement with the defence ministry for handing over an alternative land for the Gajraj project. The project is located on the campus of the Nagpur airport, but will have to be shifted for MIHAN.

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