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Aviation infrastructure to get a facelift by next year

Despite the recent drop in air traffic,the state is all set to expand its aviation infrastructure by next year.

Ahmedabad airport’s international terminal to be ready by June this year

Despite the recent drop in air traffic,the state is all set to expand its aviation infrastructure by next year. Three of the 35 non-metro airports being modernised by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) by March 2010,are located at Ahmedabad,Vadodara and Rajkot.

The state government’s role in the development of these airports is limited to land acquisition and related works. Gujarat has 10 operational airports,of which one is an international airport at Ahmedabad. The others are domestic. The airports at Vadodara,Rajkot,Bhavnagar,Kandla,Keshod,Porbander and Surat are owned by AAI while the ones at Bhuj and Jamnagar are jointly owned by the AAI and the Indian Air Force. Besides,there are three airstrips at Amreli,Mandvi and Mehsana,which are used for non-scheduled flight operations,as well as two private airports at Mithapur and Mundra.

The international terminal at Ahmedabad,with a capacity of 1,000 passengers,is expected to be ready by June 2009. The expansion of the apron area and a new arrival hall has already been carried out. Bids for a city-side development for the airport will be invited once the Ministry of Civil Aviation finalises the purview of the private sector in it.

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But now,the state government is contemplating a new greenfield airport at Ahmedabad,as the existing airport,even after modernisation,will be unable to meet the passenger traffic requirement within the next 15 years. According to sources,the project site for this is now being finalised.

Authorities are also planning a new international terminal at Vadodara where the existing building has reached saturation. The parking area at this airport is also being expanded.

Even at Rajkot,plans to build a new greenfield airport on a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) model are being examined.

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In addition,the Gujarat government is also planning an airport on a PPP basis for the pilgrimage towns of Dwarka and Ambaji,for which about 220 hectares of land has already been acquired. Meanwhile,the AAI also plans to expand the runway at Kandla airport at a cost of Rs 60 crore. For the Bhavnagar airport,installation of night-landing facility is being planned. A project to develop an airstrip at Ankleshwar is set to start soon.

The Surat airport,after the modernisation of the terminal building,air traffic control,fire station; and expansion of the runway to 2,250 metres,is set to make its Rs 20 million Instrument Landing System,operational. The system helps in landing during rain,fog and at night. For the expansion project,nearly 2,632 acres of land is required of which 988 acres is private land. The new terminal building at Porbandar,covering an area of 4,000 hectares,and built at a cost of Rs 13.5 crore,was opened in April 2008. It can accommodate 100 passengers at a time.

First published on: 10-02-2009 at 02:59:41 am
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