Monday, September 18, 2023

AAI to add 160 parking bays at 27 airports in connectivity push

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will add 160 aircraft parking bays at 27 airports in two years to expand air connectivity. The capacity expansion will aid domestic airlines that are adding aircraft to meet the growing demand. Air India and IndiGo have around 1,500 aircraft on order that would be delivered over a decade. In FY 2024 domestic airlines are expected to induct around 100 planes.

“By the end of year 2023, 104 bays will be constructed at 16 airports and in 2024, an additional 56 bays will be constructed at 11 airports. All the bays are suitable for Code ‘C’ type of aircraft ranging from ATR-72 to Airbus A321,” AAI said in an emailed response.

Amritsar, Goa (Dabolim), Kolkata and Patna, which feature in the top twenty airports for domestic passenger traffic will see addition of aircraft bays. While Amritsar and Kolkata airports will see the increase in 2023, Goa and Patna will get new parking bays next year.

Other airports that will see additional parking bays include Leh, Raipur and Tirupati. Extra parking bays at Leh would especially be useful, given the short operating window at the airport due to weather conditions. The list of 27 airports also includes the airfields in Datia, Rewa (both Madhya Pradesh) and Solapur (Maharashtra) which currently see no scheduled airline flights. “Any capacity addition at tier-II airports is good and will especially help government’s regional connectivity scheme. Along with increase in parking bays, AAI should also provide night landing and round-the-clock air traffic services at some of the smaller airports,” said Ameya Joshi, founder of aviation blog Network Thoughts.

“By FY30, the combined fleet size of Indian airlines is likely to double to 1,400 and thus we will require additional 600-700 aircraft parking bays at in the country,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia), aviation consultancy, CAPA.

17/09/2023 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Line

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