Mumbai’s new domestic terminal is likely to take off a month behind schedule. The state-of-the-art terminal - 1C, scheduled to open by mid-December will be operational only by end of January 2010.
“The construction of the terminal would be completed in 10 to 12 days. Thereafter we will conduct trials and tests before opening it,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson.
Frequent fliers have been looking forward to the new terminal because it will comprise six aerobridges.
“One can simply walk into an aircraft via the aerobridge thus ruling out the wait for airline coaches to ferry us across the tarmac,” said Kapil Ghosh, a frequent traveller.
The terminal, in the final stages of construction, would be internally connected to both the existing terminals. This means that a Jet Airways traveller checking in at terminal 1 B or a Kingfisher traveller from 1A can clear security and walk into the aircraft using the new aerobridges.
Aerobridges will also help cut down vehicle traffic on the airfield. About 500 vehicles consisting of airlines coaches, catering vans, oil tankers etc operate daily on the busy city airfield.
The terminal will also have a huge food court and a new retail spread.
An in-house hotel to come up inside the terminal is one of the main reasons that made business travellers interested in the terminal.
“The hotel is ideal for short business trips. You save on the travel within the city,” said Payal Godani, a management trainer.
But frequent fliers like her will have to wait longer for the luxury.
“The hotel is likely to be ready by March 2010,” said the MIAL spokesperson.
Airports like the Schiphol in Amsterdam or the Hyderabad airport are developing airport cities by construction of hotels and shopping arcades within the airport premises.