Despite success story, Darbhanga airport faces infra bottleneck

Passengers regularly complain about the small terminal building, lack of parking space and general mismanagement at the airport, which they say desperately needs infrastructure upgrade
Footfall at the Darbhanga airport has grown steadily to reach record levels in November with 75,574 passengers arriving or leaving on 488 flights. (HT PHoto)
Footfall at the Darbhanga airport has grown steadily to reach record levels in November with 75,574 passengers arriving or leaving on 488 flights. (HT PHoto)
Updated on Dec 08, 2021 11:33 AM IST
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ByBishnu K Jha

With the movement of 600,000 passengers and more than 4,100 flights a year, the Darbhanga airport’s success story continues despite the lack of adequate infrastructure and passengers amenities.

Launched under the Centre’s UDAN scheme, aimed to bring air connectivity to smaller cities, footfall at the Darbhanga airport has grown steadily to reach record levels in November with 75,574 passengers arriving or leaving on 488 flights, according to data released by the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

In comparison the airport recorded 24,833 passengers and 140 flights in the first month after its launch on November 8, 2020.

Darbhanga airport crossed the milestone of over 100,000 footfalls in February, 200,000 mark in May, 300,000 in July, 400,000 in September, 500,000 in October and 600,000 in the first week of December itself.

The growth in passenger traffic and flight operations may slow down in the coming days due to poor visibility in foggy conditions during the winter months.

Recently a Darbhanga-Mumbai flight (SG116) was cancelled due to sunset and Air Traffic Control (ATC) as well as Indian Air Force’s (IAF) watch hour restrictions as the airport is under the control of IAF.

Passengers also regularly complain about the small terminal building, lack of parking and associated mismanagement at the airport, which they say is crying for an infrastructure upgrade and better management.

Also Read: India reports 8,439 new Covid-19 cases, 23.7% higher than yesterday

Recently, Darbhanga district magistrate Thiyagarajan SM told this reporter that the work on separate entry from adjacent Darbhanga-Jaynagar road (NH) to Airport’s civil enclave had begun and it would obviate the need to enter via gate number two, generally called the IAF gate.

Meanwhile, due to the huge rush caused by delayed flights, passengers entry to the terminal building will be allowed only two hours before the actual time of flight departure.

Bihar government recently sanctioned 336.76 crore for acquisition of 78 acres of land for the construction of a permanent terminal building and installation of navigational facilities at Darbhanga airport.

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Monday, January 24, 2022