A new terminal built for international flights at the city airport will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22, a top AAI official said on Thursday. “Construction of the new terminal building is part of the Centre’s efforts to modernise existing airports and develop them at par with international standards,” Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI), said.
“The new building has been constructed at a cost of Rs 160 crore and it will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on October 22,” he told media.
The terminal at the airport in Harni, on the city outskirts, is spread over 18,120 sq mt and can handle 700 passengers (domestic plus international) per hour. It will have 18 check-in counters, he said.
The building, a steel structure, has been designed as per the Advance Building Management System. It has hi-tech security systems, energy-saving cooling mechanism, rainwater harvesting set up and super sensitive fire safety alarm, Mohapatra said.
“Currently, 10 flights operate everyday from the Harni airport which is not equipped to handle more than the existing number of passengers. However, the new terminal will help in accommodating additional flights and passengers,” he said. International flights for neighbouring countries will be available from the terminal, but there will be no direct service for the US or the UK as the runway length is not enough to accommodate big aircraft. No international flight has been announced yet.
S Rahej, AAI Member (Planning), who recently visited the airport, said the terminal is ready for commissioning. The foundation stone for the building was laid on February 26, 2009, but actual construction work started only in May 2011.
Ranjanben Bhatt, the BJP MP from Vadodara, said the city will now find a place on the global civil aviation map.
It will be Modi’s first visit to the city after assuming charge in May 2014. In the last Lok Sabha polls, Modi was elected from both Vadodara and Varanasi, but he later vacated the former.