Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rising footfalls & flight operations take Jaipur airport down in survey

Jaipur: Passenger footfalls at the Jaipur airport have almost doubled since inception while flight operations too have increased two-fold in the last five years, charting a remarkable growth for the airport. But these have in the process cramped facilities and were cited as the main reasons for the airport receiving a low ranking in the annual Airport Council International-Airport Service Quality (ACI–ASQ) Survey for 2017.
In 2015 and 2016, the airport was judged first in the country in various categories. However, it failed to win any awards in major categories this year, and fell overall to the 11th spot in the survey. The major awards went to Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune airports, among others.
On Monday, TOI spoke to airport authorities on how facilities have not kept up with the increase in footfalls and expectations.
“Jaipur airport received nearly 18.34 lakh passengers in 2012-13. But, it has handled 34.45 lakh passengers till December this fiscal. By the end of the financial year, we expect it to be around 38 lakhs,” said a senior officer with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in Jaipur on condition of anonymity.
Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards are given to airports across 34 parameters, including cleanliness, facilities, time taken for check-in and check-out and staff behavior, etc.
Jaideep Singh Balhara, director, AAI-Jaipur, said, “There are several parameters that does not directly involve us like time taken for check-in and behaviour of airline staff issuing boarding pass. The Terminal 2 of the Jaipur airport has an annual handling capacity of 15 lakh passengers. But, this has doubled. Due to this, there is overcrowding and cramping of facilities. These days, on an average, we handle almost 35 lakh passengers per year.”
13/03/18 Ashish Mehta/Times of India