In pursuit of its goal to cater to the growing demand of air travel among the domestic and international passengers, the Airport Authority of India (AAI), has geared up with development, remodeling and capacity expansion projects at airports across the country. The projects, once complete, will boost both tourism and industrial activities across the nation.
Vivek Anand Chourey, Executive Director (Operations) at AAI, presented the plans in a zoom meeting on Saturday explaining how the authority is working in accordance with the Government of India’s vision to support both tourism and industry.
The past couple of years have been challenging for the aviation sector due to the covid-19 restrictions and the stakeholders of the sector seek immediate revival of activities. To support the activities of both the tourism and industrial sectors, AAI is carrying out development and expansion activities at various airports, in full swing.
Chourey said AAI is carrying out expansion of capacity project at the Srinagar airport which is categorised as a civil enclave and the project would be completed by 2025. The Leh airport serves both the defense and the tourists and there is a lot of demand for more flights at the airport, however, there are geographical and weather related challenges in place. Overcoming them, AAI is expanding the annual passenger capacity at Leh to 1.6 million per year and the airport would be ready with upgrades by 2023.
Development of a new civil enclave at Jammu will be completed by 2024, while Adampur, near Jalandhar will get a 5000 sq. meter new domestic terminal by 2022. He also said that a 40000 sq. meter new terminal is being developed in Udaipur which would be ready by 2024 and a 20000 sq. meter new terminal would be ready to serve Jodhpur by 2023.
Sharing details about the expansion work at the Dehradun terminal, Chourey said about 14000 sq. meter area is being added to the existing terminal that would take the total area to 42775 sq. meter and an annual capacity to handle 3.65 million passengers by December 2022.
Similarly, the industrial hub of Punjab, Ludhiana is set to have a new civil enclave airport at Halwara with a 19000 sq. meter terminal and new car park and car lay-by areas. The new airport would serve 0.02 million passengers every year and will be able to support the types of A-321 aircrafts. When the Halwara airport becomes operational by 2025, the existing airport near Sahnewal would cease to operate.
AAI is also working to increase the capacity of various airports at Ayodhya, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Kushinagar, Prayagraj, Tezu, Holong (Greenfield Airport), Imphal, Port Blair and Bagdogra, the completion of these projects is estimated at various points in the next couple of years. While, one of the most ambitious projects is being executed at Kolkata, which would be completed by March 2026 and would increase the total capacity of the airport to 60 million annual passengers.
Vivek Anand Chourey also mentioned about various development and capacity increase projects being carried out at airports like Patna, Darbhanga, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Vijaywada, Kadapa, Rajahmundry, Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem, Tuticorin, Pune and Kolhapur.
The zoom meeting was organised by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in association with AAI, to understand the future plans of the civil aviation authority. Runeep Sangha, Executive Director, PATA (India Chapter), appreciated the efforts of AAI in modernizing and its commitment towards enhancing the overall air travel experience of both domestic and international passengers.