Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday cleared a proposal for setting up a second airport in the National Capital Region.

GMR Group, which operates the Indira Gandhi International Airport Ltd here, would be preferred for developing the proposed airport, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said.

The proposal, cleared by the Ministry on Thursday, would soon be sent to the Cabinet for its approval, he said.

According to Sharma, GMR Group — the majority stakeholder in the venture that operates the Delhi International Airport — is proposed to be accorded the right of first refusal with regard to the new project.

Once accorded, GMR Group would have the first right to develop the project, if interested, before any other entity.

For the new project, the government would be required to amend certain regulations as existing rules do not allow a second airport within a 150 kilometre radius of an existing one, unless the latter is functioning beyond its operational capacity.

Sharma has several times expressed the need for having a second airport in the National Capital Region (NCR) especially due to rising number of air travellers.

Delhi Airport handled 40 million passengers during 2014-15 period and the number is expected to rise further.