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Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) plans to spend Rs 80 crore to get Boeing's $100 million (500 crore) maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) depot in Mihan-SEZ going. MADC has decided to build a taxiway to the MRO. Tenders for it may be floated in a fortnight. The American aircraft maker is setting up this MRO on behalf of Air India, as a part of the conditions in the 30,000 crore aircraft purchase deal with the national carrier.

Boeing has begun construction on MRO and needs a facility to bring the aircraft to MRO from main runway. This has to be provided by MADC, the SEZ developer. The access was to be through second runway that MADC planned. However, it has got delayed mainly because of land acquisition problem necessitating a 2.5 km taxiway from existing runway.

Boeing's investment in rupee terms is about Rs 500 crore and the taxiway would cost MADC almost 15% of the amount. MADC is facing tough times due to lack of fresh investment in SEZ. The state government will also have to refund the company 300 crore cost of acquiring remaining land needed for the project.

MADC's vice-chairman-cum-managing director UPS Madan confirmed the plans for taxiway. MADC officials had mooted a plan to utilize an old unused runway that crosses the existing airstrip for the taxiway. A part of this runway will be extended upto the MRO site. There is a road on the path currently being used by local residents. A bridge has been planned for commuters' with the taxiway going below it. An option of having a level crossing will also be considered, said a senior MADC official.

Madan added that the second runway would be taken up later. MADC would be roping in a third partner who would build the second runway on built operate transfer (BoT) basis. A draft feasibility report has been prepared by the consultants and various business models for developing the runway were being considered, he said.