Airports in India are witnessing exemplary infrastructural developments to meet the sky-rocketing passenger growth both domestically and internationally
The Indian aviation sector has been creating ripples for the past couple of years and the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the premier body for developing and upgrading airport infrastructure across the country, is on the path of expansion and modernisation starting from Leh in north, Meghalaya in east, Calicut in south and Surat in west.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released a comprehensive report on India’s aviation market focusing on the challenges of realising the economic and social benefits of the Indian aviation industry. The report showcases the tremendous potential of the Indian aviation industry for delivering continued ‘high-speed’, demand-led growth. In 2010, 79 million passengers travelled to/from/or within India. By 2017, that doubled up to 158 million. The figure is expected to treble to 520 million by 2037. To add, aviation in India supports 7.5 million jobs contributing about USD 30 billion annually to India’s GDP.
To cater to the tremendous growth in the Indian aviation market, around `1 Lakh crores of investments are expected to be made in the Civil Aviation Sector over the next five years. Out of which, AAI will invest around `30,000 crores for infrastructure creation.
Surat Airport, Gujarat
Surat, the commercial capital of Gujarat, is famous for its diamond business, with over 92 per cent of the world’s diamonds being cut here. Emerging as India’s highest ranked smart city, Surat International Airport is exposed to rising passenger footfall, both domestic and international, every passing day. Keeping up with the rising footfall, Surat International Airport is soon going to feature on the global aviation map with flights connecting to international destinations. Addressing rising passenger growth, the foundation stone of the extension of Terminal Building of Surat International Airport was laid by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Shri. Narendra Modi in the presence of Shri. Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat.
The Terminal Building is being extended at the cost of `354 crores, adding another 17,046 sq.m. (excluding City Side and Air Side kerb) to the swanky airport. Consequently, the total area of this airport is proposed to be 25,520 sq.m. with a capacity to handle 1,800 passengers during peak hours. The New Extended Terminal Building of Surat International Airport will give impetus to the growth and economic prosperity of the region. The Hon’ble PM, while addressing the public at the ceremony, said, “To better prepare Surat for global investments and business opportunities, it is pertinent to have an upgraded world-class airport.”
Kushok Bakula Rimpochee, Leh Airport, Jammu & Kashmir
Leh in Jammu & Kashmir figures on the international tourist map and attracts a large inflow of tourists both from India and abroad. Acknowledging the soaring inflow, the foundation stone for a new world-class Terminal Building of Leh Airport was laid by the Hon’ble PM.
Maintaining a Civil Enclave at Leh Airport, AAI has taken up the construction of the New Domestic Terminal Building at a cost of `480 crores. The New Terminal Building is proposed to be constructed on an area of 18,985 sq.m. and will be able to handle 800 passengers during peak hours. The design of the building will reflect the philosophy of ancient Buddhist wisdom intertwined with modern ethos, and will closely incorporate Buddhist design elements in the overall look and feel of the building.
While addressing the public at the ceremony, the Hon’ble PM said, “It’s very important that Leh gets better connectivity with the rest of India. The Leh Airport will promote tourism and empower local youth by creating job opportunities.”
Hollongi and Tezu Airport, Arunachal Pradesh
Situated at the foothills of Himalayas, Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh presently has no airport in its vicinity, the closest one being Lilabari Airport at a distance of 80 km in the state of Assam. An airport to connect the capital city was a much needed aspiration of the local community, acting on which, a Greenfield Airport is proposed to be constructed at Hollongi, 15 km from Itanagar. The Foundation Stone for a New Greenfield Airport at Hollongi Airport was laid by the Hon’ble PM of India. Planned on 667 acres of land, the airport will be able to handle Airbus A320 type of aircraft operations. The terminal will be equipped with all modern passenger facilities, consisting of a pre-engineered structure with glass and steel envelop having profile sheet roofing on steel truss.
On the same occasion, the Hon’ble PM also inaugurated the Retrofitted Tezu Airport. AAI undertook the development and the upgradation work for ATR-72 type of aircraft operations on request of the State Government. Addressing the public gathering, the Hon’ble PM said, “The new project will be completed in record time for better connectivity for people of Arunachal Pradesh.” Hollongi and Tezu Airport will play a significant role in boosting tourism and comprehensive development of the region.
Chennai Airport Phase-2 & Trichy Airport, Tamil Nadu
Chennai is the premier international gateway and air hub for Southern India and drives the economy and trade in the entire southern peninsula. Chennai’s thriving economy has led to rising passenger traffic at Chennai International Airport, making it the fourth-largest airport in the country in terms of passenger handling. Considering the increasing passenger traffic, AAI took up the modernisation of Chennai Airport under Phase-I (T-1 & T-4 Terminals) in the year 2008 and completed it in 2012. The Foundation Stone for modernisation of Chennai International Airport – Phase 2 at a cost of `2467 crores was laid by the Hon’ble PM through a video link from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu. The New Integrated Terminal Building will have an area of 1,97,000 sq.m. along with all world-class facilities and services.
The PM also laid the Foundation Stone for the construction of a new Integrated Terminal Building of Tiruchirappalli International Airport. The proposed Modular Integrated Terminal Building of 75,000 sq.m. will be able to handle 2,900 combined peak hour passenger flow (including 2,300 international and 600 domestic passengers). Addressing on the occasion, the Hon’ble PM said “Better facilities at Chennai Airport and New Integrated Terminal Building at Trichy Airport will ensure enhanced air connectivity for the people of Tamil Nadu.”
Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Odisha is a state with various attractive tourist destinations and is home to the Jagannath Temple in Puri, an important pilgrimage centre. Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, is fast developing as an education and IT hub and is soon going to be a smart city.
A new aviation infrastructure development at Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar, will ensure better facilities for air passengers. Bhubaneswar Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in India. During the year 2017-18, the airport handled 3.16 million domestic passengers and 0.091 million international passengers. To cater to the growing traffic, AAI has planned capacity enhancement both on air side and for the Terminal Building. The Foundation Stone for construction of Link Building, Parallel Taxi Track and additional Parking Bays at the cost of `147.08 crores was laid by Shri. Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The work for the refurbishment of old Terminal-2 and construction of link building between T-2 & T-1 is being undertaken at the cost of `87.21 crore.
Upgradation of civil aviation infrastructure at all important cities and business hubs will not only improve the socio-economic condition of the regions but will also generate new opportunities for employment. In line with this heightened growth, AAI, under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is committed to providing better and more networked air connectivity by adding and enhancing airport infrastructure across the country.