Driving into the Chaudhary Charan Singh airport would be a greener experience in the next few months.
The airport administration has decided to improve the approach road by increasing green cover around the airport and developing the area as a visitors’ spot. The eco-friendly facelift, which includes plantation of saplings, would take at least six months. An 18-feet-tall statue of former deputy prime minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh would also be installed in front of the airport in December. This would entail a cost of Rs. 32 lakh.
With several international flights from Lucknow, the facelift has been planned with an aim to increase the business and footfall at the airport.
International airlines operating from the state capital include Air India, Air India Express, Saudi Arabia Airlines (for Jeddah and Riyadh), Fly Dubai (for Dubai), Oman Air (for Muscat) and Buddha Air (for Kathmandu). Two more international players have evinced interest in operating flights from Lucknow.
“Many international airlines have shown interest in operations from Lucknow and that’s a good sign for the city’s air traffic. To match international standards, we have to regularly upgrade services and facilities at the airport. That’s why we have planned more green cover on the airport route along with some eateries in front of airport for those who come to see off passengers,” said Suresh Chandra Hota, director, airport while talking to HT on phone from Ahmedabad.
Facilities like trolleys, wheel chairs, doctor on call, car rental and bus service for passengers would also be upgraded, he said.
He said the Airport Authority of India (AAI) was determined to develop Lucknow airport as one of the most profit-oriented airports of the country.
“The business of Chaudhary Charan Singh airport has already increased at 30% per annum after the construction of the new terminal,” said Hota.
The air traffic from Lucknow has also witnessed a growth of 28.1 % since 2011. Last year, 15.70 lakh passengers used the airport but this year the number has already touched 20 lakh. The AAI has already started planning the third terminal for Lucknow and this would not have been possible if the business from Lucknow was not growing at such a fast pace, he added.
“There was a time when only flights for Delhi were available from Lucknow. But today we have direct flights to Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Patna, Kolkata, Varanasi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat, Sharjahand other important cities of India and the Gulf,” emphasised Hota.
At present, Lucknow airport receives 27 flights daily, which is expected to rise to 32 flights daily in the winter schedule.