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Makeover Plan For Airports

Updated: May 30, 2018 2:43 pm

All airports in the country are likely to become over-utilised if the capacity is not increased. Increasing the capacity of the airports keeping a horizon of 15 to 20 years is thus being mulled seriously by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The ministry hopes that it will catch up with the demand well in time as there are congestion costs involved if the capacity is not added keeping a long timeframe. In addition to this, it is cost effective as the construction cost increases more than the inflation.

In the next five years the government will spend Rs 50,000 crore on Greenfield airports itself. The new Greenfield Airport Policy. Government has granted approval to Navi Mumbai, Noida International Airport (Jewar), Mopa (Goa), Purandar Airport (Pune), Bhogapuram Airport (Visakapatnam), Dholera Airport (Ahmedabad), Hirasar Airport (Rajkot). Under the new Greenfield airport policy, a city can have additional airport. To reduce the congestion at airports in Delhi, Goa and Ahmedabad, approval has been given to additional airports in Jewar, Mopa and Dholera respectively. All these are closely being monitored by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The government has already decided to construct a new integrated terminal at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow at a cost of around Rs 5000 crore. Apart from Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow, Ministry of Civil Aviation is going to do capacity addition at the airports of Agartala, Patna, Srinagar, Pune, Trichy, Vijayawada, Port Blair, Jaipur, Mangalore, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Kolhapur, Goa, Rupsi, Leh, Calicut, Imphal, Varanasi and Bubhaneshwar. This will involve construction of apron bays as well as strengthening and extension of runways. An allocation of Rs 20,178 crore has been made towards this. The timeline for completion of capacity addition is from 2018 to 2021.

There is a time table according which the projects will be operationalised. Works has been awarded for capacity addition at Agartala, Port Blair and Calicut. Calicut is in an advanced stage of completion. Agartala and Port Blair will also be completed soon.

For upgradation of Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati, AAI will take 60 percent loan. AAI says that since it has a healthy credit rating, getting finance from outside will not be a problem for it.

A major part of the expansion will come from private sector participation.  The joint venture or PPP airports at Delhi Bangalore and Hyderabad will spend 25,000 crore in the next five years for upgradation.

The new renovated domestic terminal at Cochin International Airport, which is also a PPP airport, will have aero-bridge facilities. As many as 11 gates with seven aero-bridges facility will be arranged on the first floor of the terminal. Domestic terminal at the Airport can handle only 800 passenger per hour, while the renovated terminal will have the capacity to handle 4000 passengers per hour which is almost equal to the capacity of the new international terminal.

There are massive plans for Delhi Airport also. Changes are being planned as per the Master Plan 2016. All the low cost carriers from the Domestic Terminal have been asked to shift operations to T2. T1 will be renovated to increased the passenger handling capacity. There is a plan to add a fourth terminal and another runway also according the Master Plan 2016.

Ministry of Civil Aviation is also gearing up in order to accommodate the expected increase in the number of aircrafts. The number of aircrafts are expected to increase by at least 900 in the next 10 to 15 years. To accommodate them the number of parking bays at private airports and AAI airports will be increased. This will be part of the upgradation of airside capacity.

The number of parking bays at present is 1210 of which 940 are being utilized. The requirement will be 690 additional parking bays by 2026-27. Out of that AAI will construct 290 additional bays to meet the need of the aircraft parking. AAI is interacting with the airlines for this. The construction of the parking bays will be done in accordance with the induction plans of aircrafts by the airlines. By 2019 all the parking bays will be completed. In Joint Venture Airports, additional 400 parking bays are requirement and they are also constructing them according to the induction plan of the airlines.

Guwahati will be completed by March 2021 and Chennai and Lucknow before Dec 2021. Lucknow will look after the needs of air passengers till 2030-31. Chennai and Guwahati will look after the needs of the passengers till 2026-27.

At all airports the available capacity is 334 million passengers per annum (MPPA) of which 309 is being utilized. It is expected that the demand will increase to 636 MPPA in 2026-27. So, additional 200 MPPA will be required at all airports. The government is confident of meeting this target.

At AAI airports the current capacity is 155 MPPA and the utilisation is 137. It is likely to grow to 300 MPPA by 2026-27. So we will have to add a capacity of 145 MPPA.  At PPP airports the current availability is 179 MPPA and the utilisation is 172 MPPA. The expected increase in passenger handling is expected to increase to 336 MPPA. So capacity will have to be increased by 157 MPPA.

For Delhi, the additional requirement of capacity will met at the IGI airport and the rest will be met by Noida International Airport in Jewar. Mumbai Airport is so congested at the moment that it will not be able to meet any additional capacity. Any additional capacity will have to be met by the Navi Mumbai Airport. Mumbai will see 50 million air travelers a year passing through it by 2020. Seeing the passenger volume growth, another airport is deemed necessary.

Navi Mumbai International Airport will meet any additional requirement. It will be constructed in PPP mode on Design Build Finance Operate and Transfer (DBFOT). There will be two parallel runways. Foundation for the Navi Mumbai Airport was laid on February 18, 2018. GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd will Construct the Airport. It is 34 km from CSIA.

The focus till now has been more on interiors rather than exteriors. An effort is being made by AAI to design the exterior and interior of the upgraded airports so that it reflects the culture ethos of the city so that one feels as if one is in the city as soon as he arrives at the airport. A Design Council has been constituted by AAI which will provide design brief before the tendering for construction of integrated terminals of Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow is done. There are 20 consultants in the Design Council who are not on the payroll of the developers. The design of the buildings will be finalised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

For Lucknow, Anil Dewan, a Professor of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) will give design suggestions. Jogen Chowdhury, a Rajya Sabha MP and a renowned artist will give design suggestion for Guwahati and Vikram Lall, a design consultant will give design suggestion for Chennai. In addition to this, at Brownfield Airports, local artists will also be employed.

The new terminal at Chennai International Airport will be flanked by the T1 and T4. The design of the roof has been inspired by the Bharatnatyam dancer’s attire. The passenger arriving from international destination can descend into an open immigration area. The Lucknow terminal has been inspired by Mughal Architecture. It reflects the heritage of Lucknow.

AAI has developed 25 RCS airports for UDAN scheme which have been operationalised. Adampur is the latest addition to the list of airports that have been operationalised for the purpose of regional connectivity.  By June 2018, Durgapur, Cooch Behar, Jamshedpur, Kulu and Pantnagar are expected to be added to the list. In addition to this, 13 RCS Airports are being upgraded which include Kanpur and Rourkela. Ministry of Civil Aviation hopes that they will be ready soon.

Pakyong, a Greenfield airport in Sikkim, is under licensing process.  SpiceJet has bid for it under RCS. According to Civil Aviation officials, it is an engineering marvel as well as an important step for the country since it will be the 100th operational airport which is a landmark. For Helicopter operations, 23 helipads have been awarded. Pawan Hans is looking after this.

By Manju Gupta

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