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The modernisation of airports in India has become a consistent phenomena as domestic passenger traffic is estimated to reach 150–180 mn by 2020, while international passenger traffic is expected to grow to around 50 mn by 2015. So far, five international airport projects were undertaken through the public-private partnership (PPP) model — the development of Cochin, Hyderabad and Bengaluru international airports and the modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also undertaken the upgradation and modernisation of 35 non-metro airports in the country at an estimated cost of around US$ one billion, as well as modernising Chennai and Kolkata airports. At present, India has 136 airports, of which 128 are owned by AAI. Meanwhile, AAI is also planning to identify non operational airports that could be put to use to provide better air connectivity in the country. The Civil Aviation Ministry has set a target of getting around 500 airports operational in the country by 2020.

Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi features Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and an advanced five level in-line baggage handling system, over 95 immigration desks for international passengers, 168 check in counters, 78 aerobridges, 6.7 million sq ft. of apron area, a 100 - room transit hotel, over 20,000 sq mt of retail space and a multi level car park. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a JV consortium of GMR Group, AAI, Fraport and Eraman, Malaysia will further expand this airport in three phases ending in 2016. It envisages construction of New terminal – 4, new runway, new ATC Tower among others apart from expansion of T3.

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad

Commissioned in March 2008, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has an initial capacity of handling 12 million passengers per annum. The project has the flexibility to increase capacity to accommodate over 40 million passengers a year and will be developed in a phased manner. The airport is designed to handle New Large Aircrafts, including the Airbus A380. The airport was built by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), a JV company promoted by the GMR Group in partnership with AAI, government of Andhra Pradesh and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.

Bengaluru International Airport

Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) has 40 gates and 18 aero bridges, including nine double arm and 19 remote bus bays. There are a total of 82 aircraft stands, all of which have a fueling pit. The airport currently has one runway, which can accommodate all types of aircraft including the Airbus A380. The airport can handle 14 million passengers a year with 27 aircraft movements an hour and CUTE enabled check-in counters: 117 and 66 self check-in counters. There are plans to build a second runway when the annual traffic of the airport reaches the estimated 18 million passengers a year.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai

CSIA has three domestic terminals at Santa Cruz and two international terminals at Sahar in operation. Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL), a JV between the GVK led consortium and AAI, was awarded the mandate of modernising and upgrading the CSIA in 2006. MIAL is currently implementing a master plan to build an integrated terminal with a vision and framework to modernise the airport (T2) to be able to accommodate 40 million passengers per annum. When complete, T2 will be a state-of-the-art four-level integrated terminal and will include new taxiways and apron areas for aircraft parking designed to cater to 40 million passengers annually. Some of the key features of the terminal building include: 184 check-in counters and 14 reclaim belts.

Chennai Airport

Chennai Airport, which is undergoing modernisation and expansion, is a Rs 2,015-crore expansion project and hopes to ease congestion, at least partly, till a second airport takes shape. The modernisation project includes construction of a new domestic terminal and expansion of the international terminal by 59,300 sq. m. It also involves extension of the 2.07-km-long secondary runway by 1.03 km. The international terminal building, a three-level structure, is expected to have 52 check-in counters and 18 immigration counters.

Kolkata Airport

The much needed modernisation of Kolkata Airport is nearing completion. The new integrated terminal will cater to an annual increased capacity of nearly 20 mn people. A modern exit taxiway from the main runway to the secondary runway is also on the cards. The central roof canopy, with an estimated area of nearly 24,000 sq. m is designed to facilitate rainwater harvesting. The nearly Rs 2,500 crores modernisation programme is being carried out by the Thai-Indian consortium of ITD-ITD Cementation.

Non metro airports

The AAI is planning to modernise about 225 airports across several tier-II and tier-III Indian cities by 2020. The idea is to enhance air connectivity in the hinterland. The AAI has completed development work at 27 of the 35 brownfield non-metro airports. Among the few cities where new international terminal buildings have been commissioned are Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Chandigarh, Varanasi, Amritsar, Dehradun and Vizag. Meanwhile, the government has also given in-principle approval to set up greenfield airports at Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Durgapur in Bengal, Shimoga, Hassan, Gulbarga and Bijapur in Karnataka, Kannur in Kerala, Pakyong in Sikkim, Datia in Madhya Pradesh, Kushinagar in UP and Karaikal in Puducherry.

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