Tuesday, August 17, 2021

MADC completes extension of Shirdi airport, work for night-landing facility

Mumbai: Making use of the two lockdowns since last year when flights to the temple town of Shirdi were shut down, Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has recently completed the extension of the Shirdi airport, from 2,500 metres to 3,200 metres. Work for the night-landing facility has also been completed. The project cost Rs 41.85 crore.

Shirdi, where the resting place of 19th-century spiritual figure Sai Baba is located, sees lakhs of devotees every year at the Sai Baba temple. The Shirdi airport started commissioning on October 2, 2017. It had 13 arrivals and same number of departures each day until the lockdown was imposed last year.

MADC Managing Director Deepak Kapoor told The Indian Express, “We decided to make use of the time we had and completed the extension of the runway and the night-landing facility. The labour force in Shirdi comes from Karnataka and most of them went away when the lockdown was imposed. We got labourers from local areas, extended the runway by 700 metres and constructed two additional taxiways. There was a demand from airlines like Indigo, SpiceJet and Air India for a longer runway so that they could bring bigger aircraft.”

Kapoor added that a lot of devotees arrive at Shirdi from Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Chennai and the airport witnesses the traffic of four to five flights from these sectors along with two to three flights from Bengaluru and one each from Bhopal, Delhi and Indore. Besides, there are regular flights from Mumbai. Shirdi is the fourth busiest airport after Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. In terms of passenger load, it’s third airport after Mumbai and Pune.

16/08/21 Yogesh Naik/Indian Express

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