The GMR Group-operated Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is awaiting regulatory nod, to begin the second phase of expansion of the terminal, which has already reached its capacity of 12 million passengers.
“We expect the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) nod in a few months, to begin work on the second phase of expansion. We already handled 12.5 million passengers last fiscal, which is above our installed capacity of 12 million. So, there is an urgency to have new capacities,” CEO SGK Kishore told PTI.
“The first leg of the second phase of expansion will take the annual capacity to 18 million (hopefully by FY19, depending on how soon the nod comes), and 20 million in the second leg. We need 18-20 months to complete the project,” he added. The third phase, is expected to take the capacity to 40 million.
Located 20 kms off the city at Shamshabad, the airport was completed in a record time of 31 months, for Rs 2,478 crore and commissioned in March 2008.
“In the next five years, we will be expanding in phases. After the expansion, we will have a bigger terminal facility, more security lanes, more check-in counters and rooftop solar panels. As our growth is steady, we expect to reach 20 million passengers in the next five years,” said Kishore.
With over 12.5 million passengers, the greenfield airport is already the sixth-largest airport in the country with two runways, which are the second-largest in the country. The airport handles 35 flights an hour, from eight domestic and 16 international carriers. This is one of the few airports in the country that can accommodate the largest jet carrier – the Airbus A380. According to Kishore, the airport will double its solar power capacity to 10 MW soon.
Of the total passengers, one-third are international ones. Spread across 5,000 acres, the airport has an integrated passenger terminal, a cargo terminal, an MRO (maintenance and repair overhaul facility) and other utilities, apart from an Aerocity spread across 1,500 acres, which is awaiting an official launch.