Upgrade for Mumbai airport

Mumbai airport, the gateway to India’s main financial centre, has opened a new international terminal in its first major upgrade in three decades.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architects of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport will boost the airport’s passenger handling capacity by about a third to 40 million a year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at the opening.

The project is aimed at boosting the infrastructure of the country which has seen an economic decline and a falling off of investment in the past 12 months.

Access is via an elevated  express road and the terminal also has an art museum and a glass facade.

Its use of natural light  also makes it one of the most energy-efficient terminals in the country.

“It is the most magnificent building built since independence,” said Praful Patel, union minister for heavy industries.

However, critics of the project say many homes in an adjacent slum district were demolished and families uprooted during the construction process.