Rajkot gets a new Greenfield Airport | Development takes green steps
Rajkot, the fourth largest city of the state of Gujarat is going to get a New Greenfield Airport soon. The Bhoomi Poojan function of the new airport was presided over by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 7th October, 2017 in the august presence of Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat; Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation; Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Deputy Chief Minister, Gujarat; Shri Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Shri Devajibhai Govindbhai Fatepara, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Shri Shankarbhai N. Vegad, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha); Shri Mahamadjavid Abdulmutalib Pirzada, Member of Legislative Assembly and Shri Shamjibhai Bhimjibhai Chauhan, Member of Legislative Assembly.
State Government of Gujarat has proposed a Greenfield Airport at Hirasar, Rajkot as the existing airport is capacity constrained with no further scope for expansion and upgradation due to urbanization and commercial development around the existing airport. The proposed site for the Greenfield Airport measuring 2534 acres is next to the National Highway (NH-8B) connecting Ahmedabad and Rajkot and is located 27km east of the existing Rajkot Airport. An area of 293.255 hectares was handed over by the State Government to AAI in August this year. AAI has requested State Government to demarcate the boundary of land on ground with necessary peg marking with GPS co-ordinates at reasonable distance since handed over lands are isolated pockets.
It has been decided that the AAI shall take up development works in a phased manner. In the initial phase, development works are proposed to be undertaken at a cost of Rs. 1405 Crores.
The New Greenfield Airport is going to have many environment-friendly features like double insulated roofing system, rainwater harvesting system to recharge the ground water level, usage of eco-friendly local building material, LED lighting, sensor-fitted electrical and sanitary fittings, energy efficient chillers, solar power system and a green belt along the periphery of the airport and along the approach road to act as a noise barrier.
While addressing the attendees during the Bhoomi Poojan ceremony, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi highlighted the importance of an airport in achieving development of a region and a state, He mentioned that the present government, for the first time in the history of Indian Civil Aviation since independence, formulated a National Civil Aviation Policy to connect small cities and use the available airstrips across the country. Commenting on the bright prospects of India becoming a world aviation leader soon, the Prime Minister predicted a very good future for the Indian aviation sector. He also brought to light the fact that for the new Greenfield airport coming up between Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, 96% of the land used was barren land of Govt. of Gujarat.
Commenting on the airport project being handled by AAI, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation said, “Rajkot is the fourth largest city in the state of Gujarat. Since the existing airport has no scope of further expansion and is not positioned well to meet the potential traffic demand, the new airport being constructed by AAI will surely meet the futuristic demands of Rajkot and will further add to the infrastructural development of this expanding city.”
Chairman, AAI on the occasion said “Rajkot is the nerve-centre of Saurashtra region in Gujarat, it is befitting that the Hon’ble Prime Minister presided over the Bhoomi Poojan function for the new integrated state-of-the-art Greenfield Airport at Rajkot. This new airport will cater to the commercial, religious and general aviation needs of the people of Rajkot, Surendranagar and will provide a boost to the local economy. It will offer employment opportunities to the people of the region too”.
The existing Rajkot Airport currently witnesses around 100 movements per week and handled over 4 lakh passengers during 2016-17. Due to non-availability of adequate land, the runway of the existing airport can’t be extended further. The new upcoming Greenfield Airport will face no such restrictions regarding expansion of airside infrastructure, will be able to handle A-320 type of aircraft and will be capable of handling both domestic and international operations together.