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Modernisation of 42 airports complete: AAI head

Posted on Nov 06, 08:39PM | UNI

Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman VP Agrawal today said that modernisation and development of as many as 42 airports is complete, while work on 12 more -- including two metro airports of Chennai and Kolkata -- would be completed by next month.

"With the completion of modernisation, the airports' capacity being created by AAI and joint venture airports is expected to reach 27.12 crore passengers by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan period, which will be adequate to handle the projected demand of 26.84 cr up to 2016-17," he said here.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the inauguration of an Integrated Terminal Building at the Swami Vivekananda Airport here by President Pranab Mukherjee, the AAI chief said that apart from Kolkata and Chennai, modernisation projects of Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Khajuraho, Jaisalmer, Goa, Bikaner, Bhatinda and Vadodara are nearing completion.

Underlining the need for capacity expansion due to growth in air traffic across the country, Mr Agrawal said that in 2008-2009, the traffic growth was exponential and additional capacity had to be created at several airports. The terminal buildings were built to sustain future growth and traffic for the next five to ten years, he added.

"The integrated passenger terminal complex at Raipur Airport, built at a cost of Rs 135.72 crore, has the capacity to serve 700 passengers simulateously," Mr Agrawal said while adding that the international standard terminal would be open to passengers from Saturday.

Stating that the local Airport witnessed tremendous growth in passenger traffic, the AAI Chairman said that it handled 5.30 lakh in 2010-11 and 8.10 lakh passengers in 2011-12 and is expected to reach the 10 lakh passengers figure during the current fiscal.

To a question, Mr Agrawal said the AAI is considering a proposal to develop Bilaspur and Raigarh airports.