Airports Authority of India (AAI) has announced that the new Greenfield Airport at Hirasar of Rajkot will be completed by 2023.
With construction work on in full swing, the new greenfield airport at Hirasar in the city of Rajkot, Gujarat, is expected to begin operations by March 2023. Till now, 55% of earth work and 48% of runway and other pavement work has been completed.
The airport is located around 30 kilometres from the city on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway and is expected to boost the industrial growth of the Saurashtra region. The brass industry of Jamnagar and ceramic industry of Morbi majorly depend on Rajkot for air connectivity. A bypass road from both destinations to reach this airport has already been constructed.
The new greenfield airport is being developed at the cost of ₹1,400 crore and the terminal will be capable of handling 1,300 passengers during peak hours. It will be spread over 1,032 hectares and will have all modern facilities for passengers.
The terminal will have state-of-the-art passenger facilities, four passenger boarding bridges, three conveyor belts and 20 check-in counters along with modern firefighting and fire alarm systems.
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There are also plans to develop ample parking space. The airport will have a single runway which will be 3,040 metres long so as to enable landing and takeoff of Boeing B777-300ER and Boeing B747-400 type of aircraft. The airport will be capable of parking 14 aircraft at any given time. According to AAI, the design of the Hirasar airport is influenced by the existing palaces of Rajkot like Ranjit Vilas Palace.
The new airport will be a major boon for passengers travelling from Rajkot. Currently, Rajkot has a small airport located in the city centre and there is no scope for expansion. The airport can handle a maximum of 125 passengers at a given time. In the last year or so, the city of Rajkot has received more and more new flights to cities across India.
In 2018, the airport used to handle 5 daily flights while there are 8 flights presently, with 3 more flights expected to start in the near future. SpiceJet introduced flights to Bengaluru and Hyderabad from Rajkot in February and March 2021 respectively, although Bengaluru flights stand cancelled for now. Additionally, SpiceJet also started flights to Goa in June 2021, making Rajkot the 3rd city in Gujarat to be connected to Goa with a nonstop flight.
Indigo started serving Rajkot in March 2021 with flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. While Hyderabad flights stand cancelled for now, flights to Bengaluru are scheduled to resumed on 31st October 2021 after they were suspended due to the 2nd wave of COVID-19 in India. Indigo has added a second daily flight to Mumbai.
So all in all, Rajkot is in some serious need of a new and bigger airport and the Greenfield Airport at Hirasar in Rajkot will serve the purpose.
Featured image by Airports Authority of India
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