Saturday, March 18, 2017

No land available to extend major airports’ runways: AAI chief

Ahmedabad: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) today raised concerns about airport infrastructure planning and said it is not possible to extend the runways of major airports in the country due to non-availability of land. “Now, it is very difficult to extend the Ahmedabad runway. Same is the case with Rajkot, Chennai and Kolkata, where we can not extend the existing runway because of non availability of space, mainly due to the new Land Acquisition Act and construction in and around those airports,” AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said at a function here today.
“All the top 20 airports in the country are struggling to manage the overwhelming traffic of both airplanes as well as passengers. The situation is worrisome, as not a single empty slot is available at major airports to accommodate new flights during the day time,” he said.
“Though Delhi airport is having three runways, not single slot is available between 7 AM till 10 PM. Same is the case with Mumbai. This is a matter of worry. Within just 7 to 8 years, Ahmedabad airport terminal’s capacity is completely saturated. Same situation exists in all the top 20 airports,” the AAI chairman said.
Mohapatra, a Gujarat cadre IAS officer, was invited here by the Ahmedabad Management Association to take part in a felicitation ceremony and deliver a speech on “Aviation Infrastructure – Leadership Challenge”.
To put forward his point, he gave example of Heathrow airport and London Metro, both built around 100 years back.
18/03/17 PTI/Financial Express