With the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya progressing in a manner so as to ready the sanctum sanctorum by December 2023 and throw it open for devotees a month later, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has picked up the pace to develop the required infrastructure at the under-construction international airport in the town by March next year.
The Maryada Purshottam Shri Ram International Airport, located 8 kilometres from the Ram temple, is coming up on one side of the Gorakhpur-Lucknow national highway. In April this year, the state civil aviation department had signed a lease agreement with the AAI for transfer of 318 acres of land for the airport.
“Of the 821-acre land, 793 acres have been acquired for the project and the construction on the first phase that includes a new terminal building and a runway has started at the site,” said Ayodhya District Magistrate Nitish Kumar.
AAI Joint General Manager (Civil-EIC) and project in-charge Rajeev Kulshreshta said that in the first phase, a runway of 2,200-metre length and 45-metre width will be developed at the cost of Rs 100 crore. He said an apron with space to park three airbus passenger aircraft, a terminal building of the capacity to accommodate 300 passengers, boundary walls and other structures will be developed in the first phase of the project. The terminal building with an air traffic control tower, a fire station and a parking area will cost Rs 60 crore. All these works of in the first phase of the project will cost nearly Rs 160 crore, it is learnt. But when the entire airport project will reach completion, the extended apron will have a capacity to accommodate 24 aircraft, Kumar said.
Kulshrestha said that 35 per cent work on the terminal building and 46 per cent on the runway is complete. “Civil work on the terminal building and and the runway will be completed by December this year. The licensing process will start from March next year so that further exercise for flights operation can be initiated,” he added.
In the second phase of the project, the runway length of of 2,200 metres will be further extended to 3,125 metres.