AAI team arrives to refurbish Srinagar Airport
Stakeholders Pitch For Removal Of Bottlenecks, Systematic Expansion
Srinagar, July 26: A high-empowered team from the Airports Authority of India, including its special architect, arrived at the Srinagar ‘International’ Airport this morning to examine remaking of the Terminal Building and Drop Gate to make the structures at par with international standards.
The four-member team would examine all the changes that are required to be made in the existing Terminal Building to put an end to congestion, which is hampering smooth flow of flyers.
It has been reliably learnt that the team is suggesting some ‘major changes’ at different levels in the Terminal Building—including expansion from the main entrance side, making adequate space available for airline boarding counters and also look into the feasibility of establishing a separate international terminal.
The visit by the team, which includes nodal architect of the AAI, comes in the wake of the recent visit by the AAI Chairman, VP Agarwal, to the Srinagar Airport and also as a consequence of the demands of immediate decongestion of the airport by various stakeholders—reported extensively by this newspaper from time to time.Sources said the team would draw up plans and drawings for the changes to be made and also the proposed expansion.
The AAI is contemplating to establish a new structure at the Drop Gate No.1 at Humhama where flyers are lined up in a queue for more than 30 minutes, causing huge inconvenience to them.
The fresh structure will house more X-ray machines and also ensure separate lining of cars for departure and arrival purposes.
“The team would also look into the possibility of establishing a separate international terminal so that the existing international terminal is fully utilized for domestic operations,” the sources said.
According to stakeholders, the AAI team must ensure removal of all the bottlenecks, starting from the Drop Gate 1. “There is something called the city-side development. The road leading from Humhama crossing to the Drop Gate has to be expanded considerably so that there are four separate lanes for people visiting the airport for departure purposes and two separate lanes for those leaving the airport. One of these lanes can be used exclusively for VIP movement,” said an airline official, wishing anonymity. “So the structure at the Drop Gate No. 1 and the facilities therein should be such that it should not take more than 5 minutes for a passenger to undergo baggage check. Let 10 baggage X-Ray machines be put in place in the structure. This would also call for putting in place more security-related manpower, which has to be taken care of.”
Next, the official said, the focus should be on the Terminal Building, which calls for a systematic expansion. “This year you have a considerable rush of tourists. This should serve as a lesson for the AAI that this rush could be double next year and further enhance thereafter. So there is need to ensure establishment of a separate entrance gate for all the airlines operating from the airport, with two X-ray machines for all airlines,” the official said. “Inside the building, adequate space should be kept for counters where boarding passes are issued so that there is no clutter. And space for more conveyor belts should be made available. And most importantly, the security-hold area has to be further expanded for easy movement of passengers into aircraft. Also AAI must put in place more aerobridges at the airport for convenience of passengers.”
According to sources, the existing international terminal should be used for domestic departures, instead of chartered planes alone. “It is good thing to have a separate terminal building. If there is any issue related to security and its related manpower using the existing terminal building for domestic purposes, it can be tackled by taking it up with the Director General of Police,” they said. “But it should be done on priority because it would lead to further decongestion of the airport. The police must fully cooperate in the endeavour.”
According to sources, AAI is in the process of acquiring around 100 kanals of land near the drop-gate of the airport located adjacent to a cabinet minister’s newly constructed residential house.
According to the Director AAI, Capt Raj K Malik, “The team will examine the modifications to be made in the building to make it more passenger-friendly and in tune with modern standards. The aim is to ensure comfortable accommodation for airlines, smooth flow of passengers and placement of more ultramodern facilities.
He said: “Whatever commitments have been made by the AAI Chairman on this recent visit to Srinagar shall be fulfilled in due course of time. We are committed to ensure smooth boarding of passengers and placement of ultramodern facilities at the airport.”
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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