Saturday, September 02, 2023

'Keshod airport handled 13,324 passengers in a year'

Ahmedabad: An additional 205 acres of land are needed to accommodate A320 and B737 aircraft at Keshod airport, reported the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. In the fiscal year 2022-2023, the airport handled 13,324 passengers and saw 361 aircraft movements.

Keshod airport commenced operations in March 2022, and these statistics were provided in response to a query posed by Rajya Sabha member Parimal Nathwani.

The airport can currently handle 30,000 passengers annually. Nathwani emphasized the necessity for daily connectivity with larger aircraft at the airport, as it could cater to the needs of tourists visiting Somnath and Sasan Gir. He also stressed the "need to establish connectivity with Delhi and Mumbai to attract international tourists".

Regarding the 205 acres of land for expansion, Nathwani argued that the airport already possesses sufficient land and that the runway could be extended without acquiring more. The airport occupies 450.24 acres, negating the need for further land acquisition to extend the runway to 300m.

Nathwani had previously appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Civil aviation minister, leading to airport operations in 2022. In 2022, he had written to PM Modi, stating there was ample land within the airport premises to extend the runway to accommodate Boeing-type aircraft. The MP emphasized that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) did not require new land acquisitions. He called for simultaneous expansion of the runway along with the construction of a new terminal building and apron.

02/09/2023 Times of India

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