Comprehensive 25-Year Masterplan In Store For Airports In India
To offer seamless connectivity and better infrastructure to hold the rising air passenger numbers, the Centre will soon come up with a comprehensive 25-year masterplan for the airports in India. According to Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, the comprehensive masterplan will be designed keeping in mind the double-digit growth in passenger traffic over the past few years. The masterplan, among other methods, will also look into the need for multiple airports in cities.
Another concern is the safety and security of the passengers, to which Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, said, “Most crucial aspects are safety and security and there can't be any compromise on these two counts. The most stringent norms have to be adopted to ensure safe and secure air travel”.
The masterplan will also delve into the need for multiple airports in cities, revised and refined agreements with airport operators, providing attractive opportunities for operational airports, offering multiple operational airports as part of a package for bidding as well as scaling up the Airports Authority of India.
Some striking numbers
- According to Domestic Traffic Report 2017, by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the month of September, passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-September 2017 were 849.94 lakh as against 726.98 lakh during the same period in 2016. This is a growth of 16.91 per cent. While these are just domestic numbers, Sinha says, the average long-term growth rate for domestic air traffic has been 12 per cent. He predicts that even if the numbers grow at a rate of 10 per cent, the air traffic will double in the next two decades.
- In another report by Sydney-based aviation think-tank CAPA- Centre of Aviation, India is the third largest aviation market in domestic air traffic. The country's domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016. The US with 719 million led the list while China stood second with 436 million domestic air passengers. The CAPA report estimates that India will need an investment of up to $45 billion to create an additional capacity of handling 500-600 million passengers at its airports by 2030.
- An International Air Transport Association's (IATA) 20-year passenger forecast says that, by 2036 India will be the third fastest growing market with an expected addition of 337 million new passengers from 141 million passengers in 2016.
With these constantly rising numbers, the infrastructure at some of the top airports in the country is crippling. A report suggests that the structural capacity of airports in the country is likely to be exhausted in the next five years.
Ongoing expansion of airport projects
The Airports Authority of India, at present, is building new terminal buildings across the country at an estimated cost of Rs 4,200 crore. Moreover, nine airports, including Chennai, Dehradun, Goa, Jaipur, Lucknow, Pune, Srinagar and Visakhapatnam, will see an upgrade of the existing terminals, a project worth Rs 6,200 crore.
Some key projects are:
Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport
The airport underwent a modernization exercise in 2006-2009, making it ready for the coming 30 years. However, the airport needs an upgrade already. The airport's domestic terminal, also popularly known as 1D, is facing a massive increase in the number of passengers. This has led to the airport authorities to keep up with the amenities. The airport will soon undergo an upgrade. An estimated Rs 16,000-crore expansion project will be carried out in three phases: Phase 3A (from 2016 to 2020), Phase 3B (2021-2025) and Phase 4 (2026-2034) as per requirements. The passenger capacity will be increased to 40 million from the existing 20 million. It will be spread over an area of 1.69 lakh square metres (sqm) as against the present 60,000 sqm and will have 16 gates instead of the present eight.
Tirupati and Kadapa airports
Located at Andhra Pradesh's Rayalseema, the two airports will undergo expansion and upgradation. The Tirupati airport will be upgraded at an estimated cost of Rs 177.10 crore wherein the existing runway will be strengthened, making it capable of handling wide-body aircraft for international operations. The same will be the expansion plan for Kadapa airport, too.
Recently, the AAI roped in Singapore-based Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte as a master consultant to upgrade and expand Patna's Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport. Under the expansion, the first phase would include the construction of three additional aprons in front of the state hangar. A new hangar would also be developed for the state hangar, following which the existing hangar would be demolished to pave way for expansion of the terminal building.
With inputs from Housing News