Srinagar: The much-awaited work on the expansion of the Srinagar International Airport will kick-start in April 2022 while twice the size of the existing terminal building will come up after the project witnesses completion later this year.
A senior official told Greater Kashmir that the architectural drawings for the new terminal building are being finalised by the Airports Authority of India ( AAI).
“There is a proposal to relocate some of the existing set-ups from the airport premises. Once that is done, work will start on the new terminal. The project envisages having twice the size of the existing terminal building” said the official.
Earlier this year, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said that two new airport terminals shall be established in Jammu and Kashmir soon.
Scindia said that an airport terminal worth Rs 1500 crore shall be established on 25 thousand square metres in Srinagar, while another airport terminal worth Rs 650 crore shall be established in Jammu on 22 thousand square metres land size.
It may be mentioned that with almost 12000 daily passenger footfalls being witnessed at the Srinagar International Airport, the aerodrome has of late seen an increase of 170 per cent air traffic compared to last year, officials said.
The annual footfall of passengers at Srinagar is expected to increase sharply from the current 3 to 4 million passengers in the next few years, for which the Airport is all set for a terminal expansion, a project likely to begin sometime soon.
The stakeholders say international and night flight operations at the airport will also boost tourism and these steps have been welcomed by the officials as well as tourism players.
Pertinently, Srinagar airport is under the direct operational control of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which controls its air traffic and landing strip and also the facilities of fire-fighting and crash activities, apart from the airspace.
The terminal building, where the passengers' check in and check out, and the apron area, where an aircraft is parked are controlled by the AAI. The airport witnesses operations of 35 to 45 commercial flights every day.
As part of its expansion plan, 10 new x-ray checking counters will be constructed at the entry gate of the Srinagar International Airport next year, Airport officials said.
This will take the total number of x-ray counters at the entry gate to 16, which is likely to save the travel time of passengers.
As part of the expansion plan, a new aerobridge (suspended, moveable tunnel which extends from an airport building to an aircraft), will also be constructed at the Airport.
Apart from the recently started international flights, in a major boost to exports of horticulture produce, handicrafts and other goods from Kashmir, an international cargo terminal facility at the Srinagar International Airport is on the anvil. AAI officials told Greater Kashmir that the facility is aimed to provide a thrust to exports.