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HomeTravelGrounded: International flights can't operate from new airport in Rajkot - ET...

Grounded: International flights can’t operate from new airport in Rajkot – ET TravelWorld

Even before take-off, dreams of flying to international destinations from their city have crashed for bag-packers in Saurashtra’s biggest city.

Highly placed sources have confirmed to TOI that Rajkot International Airport at Hirasar will be able to handle only domestic flights.

The international flights were expected to start once work on the permanent terminal building was complete.

But the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has decided that a new terminal will be required exclusively for international operations, adjacent to the under-construction terminal that is expected to be completed by Aug 15. This terminal will handle only domestic flights.

Initially, the terminal under construction was planned to handle both domestic and international flights.

The terminal would have been divided into two parts to facilitate domestic and international passenger movement.

'86 of 87 IndiGo and SpiceJet flights shifted from IGIA's terminal 1': Government

Union aviation minister Rammohan Naidu on Friday inspected IGIA’s airport operations control centre (AOCC) and held a meeting with senior official of various agencies like DGCA, BCAS, DIAL and airlines. Naidu reviewed “current operations and passenger handling following the transition of flights from T1 to T2 & T3. A comprehensive assessment was conducted, involving detailed discussions on ensuring smooth functioning and deploying additional manpower to manage increased passenger flow.

New terminal for international flights will take many years

Meanwhile, a temporary terminal that is currently in use was designated solely for cargo movement.In a recent meeting of AAI it was concluded that the permanent building won’t accommodate international operations due to the set-up needed for customs, immigration, airline offices, and passenger facilities.

Hence, it was decided that the new building would serve domestic purposes exclusively once completed.

When contacted, airport director Diganta Borah confirmed the changes in plans and said, “There is a proposal to construct a new terminal for international flight movements and it is currently in the planning stage.”

In the meantime, sources also revealed that no airlines have shown readiness to start international operations from Rajkot airport as yet.

“If the civil aviation ministry insists, on commencing international flights in the near future, the authorities will consider using the current temporary building to handle them,” said a source close to the developments.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new greenfield Rajkot International Airport at Hirasar, 30 km from Rajkot, was performed in Oct 2017, ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections.

Following the land acquisition, the airport has been developed on 1,045 ha of land with the terminal covering 23,000 sq m.

The new terminal was initially slated for completion by the end of Feb 2024 after the airport began operating from a temporary building in Sept 2023.

But this work has been delayed. The new international airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2023.

  • Published On Jul 10, 2024 at 09:58 PM IST

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