In a major boost to tourism in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, a greenfield airport located at Chipli in the picturesque coastal Sindhudurg district, was inaugurated today (Oct 9).
IRB Sindhudurg Airport Pvt. Ltd, a special purpose vehicle(SPV) set up by IRB Infrastructure, which was entrusted to develop and operate the greenfield airport, commenced the commercial operations from the new airport.
In Sep this year, IRB received aerodrome license for Sindhudurg Airport from the Director General of Civil Aviation.
The Air India owned Alliance Air’s flight ATR72-600 type aircraft landed flight at the Airport at 12.52 hours and took off at 15.24 hours at full capacity on board.
Speaking on the occasion, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said thanks to this airport, a distance of 530 kms from Mumbai can now be covered in 50 minutes only.
Scindia said that in the coming years, he plans to connect Chipi with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and other major cities, and added that he plans to start 20-25 flights to Chipi in the next five years.
Scindia said with Chipi, Maharashtra now has 14 airports.
State Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray said all efforts will be made to promote tourism in the Konkan along with conserving the environment.
IRB infrastructure, through the SPV, developed the airport project at an estimated capital outlay of Rs 800 crore.
Apart from earning revenue from the operations of airport, IRB Infrastructure will get the right to utilise/ commercially exploit the additional land parcels forming part of the project. The concession period is 95 years.
IRB roped in the leading experts in the sector, i.e., L&T Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation, STUP Consultants Pvt Ltd., Feedback Infrastructure Services Pvt Ltd., Air Transport & Tourism Advisors, Ultratech, Honeywell Automation India Ltd. for developing the project.
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation functioned as a nodal agency to facilitate and supervise development of Sindhudurg Airport.
The new airport will have a passenger handling capacity of 2 Million per year and can currently support at least arrival and departure of at least 200 passengers during peak hours with ability to scale up support to 400 each for arrival and departure . The airport will have a cargo handling area of approximately 10,000 sq.m expandable to meet future needs.
The airport is also equipped to handle critical situations like emergency landings. Along with the robust safety and security arrangements, the airport has dedicated isolation bay for handling emergency.
Sindhudurg Airport is expected to establish and enhance air connectivity of Konkan region with Western Maharashtra, Mumbai and other parts of India.
The greenfield airport is expected to provide a major boost to the tourism in Konkan region
Konkan Region is Sindhudurg District is endowed with rich natural beauty, flowing rivers, beautiful sea shores and is dotted with several tourist attraction and places of pilgrimages.
“The Airport will not only generate the passenger traffic, but also it will be a boon for economic development of the region as it will facilitate and boost cargo transportation; generate direct as well as an indirect employment and other business opportunities for the local people, IRB said in a press release.