The much-awaited new Chandigarh International Airport is likely to become operational by mid-July, but only for 26 domestic flights; while international flights will take at least a month after that to take off.
As on date, only two airlines have been given permission to operate the international flights, but that too would take about 30 days from the day the new terminal building becomes operational due to procedural delays, including decision on flight schedule and sale of tickets. It may be mentioned that following the clearance from the ministry of defence, the schedule of flights to Dubai by two airlines is being finalised by the aviation ministry.
Once functional, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) plans to shift the operations of the domestic flights from the existing domestic building to the new terminal that has been segregated in two terminal portions — domestic and international. So the existing Chandigarh domestic airport, that handles 26 flights, will be closed down and the domestic flights will be shifted to the new airport.
The domestic airport could be used for cargo operations, civil aviation and allied services or could be used as a flying club, said sources. With the construction work of the international terminal is complete with final touches being given to the building before being handed over. The building is built on the green building concept with solar power panels fitted on the rooftop.
TO DISPLAY HUES OF PUNJAB, HARYANA, UT
To give the travellers a feel of rich cultural heritage, murals and sculptures depicting cultural heritage are also put up inside the building. One can see Lord Krishna giving sermon to Arjuna, a bullock cart racing, a nihang riding horses, along with the sculptures of various freedom fighters. Not just that, one can also witness miniature Open Hand amid beautiful landscaping.
AAI officials said murals and paintings that reflect the cultures of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh had been put up in the passenger circulation area.
“We aim to make the airport operational by July, so that both the domestic and international flights will take off from the new terminal,” said chief executive officer, Chandigarh International Airport, Sunil Dutt.
Built at a cost of over Rs 475 crore, the Chandigarh International Airport, to begin with, will have domestic flights taking off from the new terminal. The new airport will have the capacity to handle more than 1,600 passengers at a time at its international and domestic terminals. The departure facility has been planned at the first floor and the arrival at the ground floor, on the pattern of the Delhi International Airport.
The operations of the international airport will be run under a joint venture (JV) in which 51% equity share is of the AAI and 24.5% each of Punjab and Haryana.
While the AAI has invested in the construction of the terminal building, taxiway and other related infrastructure, Punjab and Haryana have contributed by way of transferring 300 acres of land to the AAI.
The first phase of the terminal covering 53,000 sq metre will have a capacity to handle 1,600 passengers at a time and a parking space for 500 vehicles.
There are 48 check-in counters; six escalators and 14 lifts. Three aerobridges have already been provided and there is an arrangement for adding two more.
One from the existing domestic terminal would be shifted. Over the years, a total of three terminals have to come up. The apron area will have a capacity for eight aircraft.