Gujarat : First Phase Of Greenfield Airport At Rajkot To Be Operational By 2023 End
The work on greenfield airport at Rajkot in Gujarat is in full swing and is expected to be opened by December 2023.
The foundation stone of the new airport at Hirasar was laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2017 and was initially scheduled to be opened by March 2023.
More than 95 per cent of earth work along with Runway and other pavement works have been completed. The work for new terminal building and ATC Tower is also in progress. To commission the airport, an interim terminal building of size 60m x 60m capable of handling 300 passengers per hour is also in progress and the airport will be ready for operation by December 2023.
Need For New Airport
Rajkot city is the centre of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat and the fourth largest city in the state.
The present airport is in the heart of the city and is suffering from considerable capacity restraints due to residential and commercial buildings which have been built around it. The present air strip is incapable of serving aircraft larger than Airbus 320 family/Boeing 737-800.
Rajkot Urban Development Authority and Rajkot Municipal Corporation had proposed a plan to extend the existing airport runway to accommodate larger aircrafts so as to provide better connectivity to major cities besides Mumbai and to cater to a large demand from the manufacturing companies located in Rajkot.
However, the plan could not materialize due to land acquisition issues, which, necessitated the construction of an altogether new greenfield airport for the city of Rajkot.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation granted ‘in principle’ approval to Gujarat Government for setting up of the greenfield airport at Hirasar in Rajkot district in October 2017. The project is being developed under BO (Build & Operate) by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
For the new airport coming up between Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, 96 per cent of the land used was barren land of the state government of Gujarat.
Greenfield Airport at Hirasar
Spread over 2534 acres, the new greenfield airport is located next to the Rajkot-Ahmadabad National Highway (NH 47) and is approximately 30 kms from Rajkot city.
With a 3040-metre-long runway, the airport will be capable to serve Airbus321 type of aircraft and the apron will be suitable for parking of 14 planes.
With total built-up area of 23,000 sqm excluding basement, the terminal building of this new airport will be capable to handle 1800 passengers during peak hours.
The terminal will be equipped with 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 system.
The city side area of the airport is also being developed for adequate parking facilities for car, taxi and buses along with landscaping.
It has been decided that the AAI shall take up development works in a phased manner.
With an estimated cost of Rs 1405 Crore for the first phase of development, the new airport is envisioned to be a transportation hub for people traveling abroad from the state.
This new airport will cater to the commercial, religious and general aviation needs of the people of Rajkot, Surendranagar and will provide a boost to the local economy. It will offer employment opportunities to the people of the region too and will be capable of handling both domestic and international operations together.
Being located on Rajkot-Ahmadabad highway, this airport will aim to reduce time and cost related to logistics for multiple industries in the region. More Importantly, the ceramic industry of Morbi and other industries of Jamnagar also depend on Rajkot for air connectivity.