Patel on overdrive, launches upgrade projects of five airports

February 20th, 2009 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was on an overdrive Friday, flying to as many as five cities during the day to kickstart the upgrade and modernisation projects of their airports.
If 8:30 a.m. was his appointed hour in Mumbai, where a new terminal building will be constructed over 4.3 million square feet, Indore was his next halt where the minister did the honours at around 11 a.m.

Bhopal was next at the lunch hour at 1 p.m., followed by a stopover at Raipur two hours later, with the whistle-stop visits concluding at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Airport.

All these airports are to get new integrated terminal buildings as part of the government’s ambitious project to upgrade 35 non-metro airports at a cost of Rs.105 billion (Rs.10,500 crore or a little over $2 billion).

Excluding Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, all other four airports are non-metro airports and are part of 35 non-metro airport project.

The new terminal over 4.3 million square feet will be able to handle around 40 million passengers annually and will boast of 184 check-in counters, as well as 700,000 square feet of retail space, food courts, lounges and other travel-related services.

The development of the non-metro airports by the Airports Authority of India involves building new terminal buildings and airside work that includes expansion and strengthening of runways and creating more parking space for aircraft, besides city-side development through public private partnerships.

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