GMR, Adani, L&T, and Reliance Infra are said to be among the companies competing for a contract to build Jewar Airport in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

A total of 15 companies have so far expressed an interest in constructing the airport under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, which is expected to cost Rs160bn ($2.32bn).

Representatives of Adani Group, Reliance, GMR Group, and L&T, among others, recently participated in the pre-bid conference.

Local media reports suggest foreign investors, including Zurich Airport International and Hong Kong ADP, have also purchased the bid documents.

Mumbai Airport operator GVK Group, Bengaluru Airport owner Fairfax India, sovereign wealth fund NIIF, and PNC Infrastructure are also said to be interested in the contract.

Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) has been appointed to manage the development of the airport project.

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Interested suitors need to submit their bids by 30 October, with the contract expected to be awarded by January next year.

NIAL nodal officer Shailendra Bhatia told the Financial Express: “The initial response has been good. Several major airport developers have shown interest in the project. We expect more investors to bid for this marquee project.”

The total land required for the Jewar Airport project is approximately 3,000ha to 5,000ha. The local administration expects to complete 80% of the land acquisition for the first phase by 31 August this year.

In September last year, the state government of Uttar Pradesh decided to further pursue the proposal for the airport, which was first submitted in 2002.

The state government subsequently sanctioned approximately Rs12.6bn ($178.5m) for the acquisition of land for the proposed airport.

The airport will be built in four phases and is likely to become operational by 2023.

Once complete, the airport is expected to initially manage around five million passengers per annum. This figure is expected to rise to up to 60 million per annum over the next 30 years following a series of planned expansions.

Noida’s authority and the Uttar Pradesh Government will each own a 37.5% stake in the airport, while the Greater Noida authority and YEIDA will both hold 12.5%.