AIRPORTS OF INDIA
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Rajkot, is going to soon host a new Greenfield Airport. The Bhoomi Pujan function of the new airport was presided over by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on October 7, 2017, in the august presence of Shri Vijaybhai R. Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat; Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation; Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Deputy Chief Minister, Gujarat; Shri Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Shri Devajibhai Govindbhai Fatepara, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Shri Shankarbhai N. Vegad, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha); Shri Mahamadjavid Abdulmutalib Pirzada, Member of Legislative Assembly and Shri Shamjibhai Bhimjibhai Chauhan, Member of Legislative Assembly.
The state government of Gujarat proposed the Greenfield Airport at Hirasar, Rajkot, as the capacity of the existing airport is constrained with no further scope for expansion and upgradation due to prevalent urbanisation and commercial development in the region surrounding the current airport. The proposed site for the Greenfield Airport, measuring 2534 acres, is next to the National Highway (NH-8B) connecting Ahmedabad and Rajkot, located 27 km east of the existing Rajkot Airport. An area of 293.25 hectares was handed over by the state government to AAI, free of cost and on a free from all encumbrances basis, in August this year. AAI has requested the state government to demarcate the boundary of land on the ground with the necessary peg marking with GPS coordinates at a reasonable distance since the handed over land has isolated pockets.
The new Greenfield Airport is scheduled to be equipped with several environmentfriendly features, such as, a double-insulated roofing system, rainwater harvesting system to recharge the groundwater table, usage of eco-friendly local building material,
LED lighting, sensor-fitted electrical and sanitary fittings, energy efficient chillers, a solar power system and a green belt along the periphery of the airport and along the approach road to act as a noise barrier.
While addressing the attendees during the Bhoomi Poojan ceremony, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi highlighted the importance of an airport in achieving the developmental goals of a region and the state. He mentioned that the present government, for the first time in the history of Indian Civil Aviation, since independence, has formulated a National Civil Aviation Policy to connect small cities by using the available airstrips across the country. Commenting on the bright prospects of India striving to become a world aviation leader soon, the Prime Minister predicted a prosperous future for the Indian aviation sector. He also shed light on the fact that for the new Greenfield Airport coming up between the Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, 96 per cent of the land used was barren land belonging to the Govt. of Gujarat.
Commenting on the airport project being handled by AAI, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation said, “Rajkot is the fourth largest city in the state of Gujarat. Since the existing airport has no scope for further expansion and is not positioned well to meet the potential traffic demand, the new airport that is being constructed by AAI will surely meet the futuristic demands of Rajkot by further adding to the infrastructural development of this expanding city.”
Chairman, AAI, on the occasion said, “Rajkot is the nerve-centre of the Saurashtra region in Gujarat, it is befitting that the Hon’ble Prime Minister presided over the Bhoomi Poojan function for the new integrated state-of-the-art Greenfield Airport at Rajkot. This new airport will cater to the commercial, religious and general aviation needs of the people of Rajkot and Surendranagar, providing a boost to the local economy. It will also offer employment opportunities to the people of the region.”
Before the Bhoomi Pujan, Chairman, AAI, formally inaugurated the 150KW roof-top Solar Power Plant being installed at Rajkot Airport on October 6, 2017. The project cost at `86.85 lakhs will benefit AAI in reducing the electricity costs at Rajkot Airport. Later in the day, the Chairman interacted with the media explaining in detail the need for the new Greenfield Airport at Rajkot.
The existing Rajkot Airport currently witnesses around 100 movements per week and also handled over four lakh passengers during the year 2016-17. Due to the non-availability of adequate land, the runway of the existing airport cannot be further extended. The new upcoming Greenfield Airport will face no such restrictions regarding expansion of airside infrastructure. It will be able to handle the A-320 type of aircraft while also being capable of simultaneously managing both domestic and international operations.
J.b.singh, GM (PR), AAI, CHQ
PM Shri Narendra Modi graces the Bhoomi Pujan function in the presence of Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju
Bhoomi Pujan function at Rajkot