A perfect amalgamation of design and technology, Vadodara Airport sets a benchmark for structural efficacy
Earlier known as Baroda, Gujarat’s cultural capital derives its name from the Sanskrit word Vatodara, meaning “in the heart of banyan (vata) tree”. The city was also popular by the name of Virakshetra or Virawati, meaning the land of warriors, as pronounced by the 17th-century Gujarati poet Premanand Bhat. It was only in 1974 that the name of the city was officially changed to Vadodara.
Vadodara was once a princely state ruled by the Gaekwad Dynasty of the Maratha Confederacy, from its formation in 1721 until 1949 when it acceded to the newly-formed Union of India. Today, Vadodara is now known as an industrial city famous for various types of furniture, textiles and handicraft items.
The Laxmi Vilas Palace of Vadodara captures the interest of travellers exploring the city as it is renowned as the largest private dwelling built till-date and is measured to be four times the size of the Buckingham Palace in London. Among other major attractions of the city, the Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery offers a rich collection of art, sculpture, ethnography and ethnology. Built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the Kirti Mandir, also known as Temple of Fame, is a memorial that showcases the sun, the moon and the Earth in bronze, posturing as a major tourist attraction in the city. The outstanding stone building is constructed in the shape of the letter “E” with terraces, balconies, domes and a central shikhara that rises to a height of approximately 35 m.
History and Development
Located north-east of the city, Vadodara Airport is spread over an area of 630.60 acres. The existing runway is suitable for the operation of A-320 type of aircraft in all weather conditions. Vadodara Airport was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, on October 22, 2016.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken various projects to develop Vadodara Airport, one of which includes the installation of a 675 KWp solar power plant at a cost of `3.5 crore. With a resolution of going all green and clean, Vadodara Airport has initiated replacement of all lights within the airport premises with energy-saving LED Lights cutting the annual electricity cost by around `72 lakh.
An Architectural Marvel
Vadodara Airport flaunts its Integrated Terminal Building that features associated substructures such as utility building, cafeteria, car parking.
The sleek contemporary structure showcasing an arching, sweeping roof that spans the entire length of the terminal is remarkably the highlight of the architectural marvel. The building’s steel structure rises to form a light and open up as a column-free terminal with glass curtain walls creating a feeling of spaciousness. Inspired by the body and wings of airplanes, the building creates a bold and continuous aerodynamic form. One of the prominent structural features of the new integrated terminal is the huge archway that wraps the entire terminal and heightens it to form some space. Skylights follow the geometry of the trusses, further opening the structural framework to allow natural light to permeate the terminal.
To guarantee supreme structural efficiency and to limit the overall depth of the structural cover, beams have been post-tensioned. The volumetric proportion of the interior spaces combined with filtered natural light from skylights above, along with lush garden and creative artefacts depict Vadodara’s heritage. The sound of flowing water on the city side of the building creates magic, making the overall experience extraordinary for the passengers. As passengers approach the new terminal from the city, they experience the terminal’s iconic aerodynamic volume soaring above the landscape. All these design marvels make Vadodara an iconic airport and at par with others contemporary airports of India.
The Avant-garde Greenfield Airport
Infrastructural projects on unused land with no requirement to remodel or demolish an existing structure are called Green Field Projects. The Integrated Terminal Building at Vadodara Airport has come up on most part of the unused land. Moreover, the building has been constructed with features to utilise natural resources such as skylights. The building incorporates various features of the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), such as LED lighting with sensors, paints with low volatile organic compounds, low heat gain glazing, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient chillers, cavity walls, usage of fly ash bricks, re-use of treated water (in a 600 kilolitres per day sewage treatment plant), double insulated roofing system and variable frequency drives for high-capacity motors. Moulded or pressed articles of sugarcane bagasse pulp or other fibrous cellulosic materials have been used as decorative materials.
Following are some of the initiatives undertaken by the Vadodara Airport, making it a futuristic airport by all means:
- Supply Installation Testing and Commissioning (SITC) of 675 kWp capacity grid connected a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power plant at a cost of `3,507,573.
- Strengthening and restructuring the height of the operational boundary wall.
- Ramps for smooth movement by levelling at both city and air side.
- Provision of tactile flooring at canopy area.
- Special toilets for speciall-abled.
- Tactile flooring work from the ramp to the helpdesk for the visually impaired.
- Biometric access control system for the new Integrated Terminal Building.
- SITC of surveillance CCTV and access control systems for Air Navigation Services (ANS) get operational units.
- Provision of 100 feet illuminated national flag mast.
- Levelling of the operational area from wall-to-wall.
- Development of the drainage system.
- Introduction of new restaurant, executive lounge facilities.
Following are some of the upcoming plans of AAI:
- Construction of parallel taxi track.
- Construction of ATC tower cum technical block.
- Construction of two hangars.
Vadodara Airport has also undertaken an initiative to construct 152 toilets in Dena Village in Vadodara District as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. AAI has also successfully completed its target of providing smart classes and Computer Lab to two schools under the administrative control of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation.
Vadodara Airport is striving to provide world-class facilities to all its passengers. The Customer Satisfaction Index is improving every year. As per the feedback taken from passengers and other stakeholders, the progress has been ascending. Vadodara Airport, as a gateway to this culturally-rich city, is witnessing a rise in tourist footfall and is prepared to welcome them all.