Work begins to expand passenger capacity at 10 airports | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Work begins to expand passenger capacity at 10 airports

By, New Delhi
Aug 14, 2023 11:28 PM IST

The Indian government plans to expand 10 airport terminals to handle 30% additional growth in domestic air passenger traffic by next year. The expansion is in response to a surge in traffic, which grew 25% YoY to 12.1 million passengers in July. The government is also focusing on connectivity to smaller cities and aims to inaugurate at least three airports in Uttar Pradesh this year. To ensure smooth passenger processing, the government is deploying additional security personnel, reinforcing the Bureau of Immigration, and installing additional X-ray machines. Social media platforms will be used to provide real-time updates to passengers.

As domestic air passenger traffic grows rapidly in India, the government has planned a massive expansion of 10 airport terminals across the country, aviation ministry officials said on Monday.

The latest development comes after aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and home minister Amit Shah conducted a review of airport capacity expansion on July 15. (Hindustan Times)
The latest development comes after aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and home minister Amit Shah conducted a review of airport capacity expansion on July 15. (Hindustan Times)

“With an aim to efficiently handle 30% additional growth by summer peak travel next year, work at airports like Goa (Dabolim), Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Patna, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Trivandrum and Cochin has been finalised,” a ministry official said, declining to be named. “Work at four airports belonging to the Airports Authority of India has begun.”

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India’s domestic air passenger traffic surged 25% on an annualised basis to 12.1 million passengers in July, according to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The latest development comes after aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and home minister Amit Shah conducted a review of airport capacity expansion on July 15.

“Met Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation Shri @AmitShah Ji along with AAI, CISF, BCAS & Immigration officials to review the plan for capacity and manpower expansion at certain airports. We are committed to ensuring smooth processing of air passengers in the upcoming peak travel season,” Scindia had then tweeted.

Shah had insisted that passenger convenience should be top priority and the capacity expansion at airports was the need of the hour, officials said. “A study was conducted to identify 10 such airports that need capacity expansion,” a second official close to the development said, seeking anonymity.

“With constant efforts from aviation and home ministries, the peak winter travel from October has been handled and no congestion issues would be faced by passengers,” the official added. “Looking at the tremendous passenger growth, we have prepared ourselves to face various situations that can cater to passengers with a 15% growth in the upcoming winter travel, but also an additional 15% growth in the 2024 summer travel.”

The government is also focusing on connectivity to smaller cities. “We aim to inaugurate at least three airports in Uttar Pradesh this year itself,” the second official said. “These include Moradabad and Azamgarh.”

“The ministries had ensured utilisation of extra spaces at IGI (Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi) after congestion related issues raised by passengers in December last year,” another government official said, seeking to remain unnamed. “As a result of this, the airport now does not have any scope of expansion and requires their new terminal to be operational for efficient handling to passengers.”

Delhi’s airport operator have been asked make its new terminal operational by September.

“The next challenge which I have put before them is to ensure that the fourth terminal is also operational by October prior to the onset of the rush season,” Scindia had said while inaugurating the fourth runway in Delhi airport on July 14.

Aviation and home ministry officials have prepared a plan to deploy additional Central Industrial Security Force personnel in airport in two phases in October and November, an official statement said on August 3. It also decided to start reinforcing the Bureau of Immigration by October.

The government has also begun its work towards installing additional X- ray machines to support security infrastructure at airports. It had in December started adding the check-in counters and baggage drop facilities.

One of the initiatives for the upcoming festive and winter travel season will also include the use of social media platforms to provide real-time updates to passengers to make airport transit seamless. “Information regarding enhancement in processing capacity and expansion of security check areas will also be communicated,” the third official said.

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