Guntur: Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia laid the foundation stone for the forthcoming terminal building at Rajahmundry airport in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. Before the event, he inspected the new terminal building at the airport. Addressing the crowd during the ceremony, Scindia termed it a "historic moment."
Subsequently, Scindia performed the bhoomi poojan (groundbreaking ceremony) for the new terminal building, which is anticipated to cost Rs 350 crore. The objective is to address the increasing demands of passenger traffic at the airport, which is presently connected to Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru, handling a schedule of 126 flights per week.
#WATCH | Andhra Pradesh: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia inspects the new terminal building at the Rajahmundry Airport before the foundation stone laying event. pic.twitter.com/EQP62Jsj7W— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2023
Expressing his sentiments, Scindia said, "I really feel blessed that I am in the ancient city and soil of Rajahmundry — the center, heritage, and tradition — not just for Andhra Pradesh but for the whole of Bharat Mata. Our Rajahmundry has been that center for time immemorial, and we are celebrating a thousand years of Rajahmundry in this current period."
Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman of the Airport Authority of India, mentioned that if airlines establish connections with various destinations nationwide, it can facilitate effective cargo movement. He added, "So, since the airport would have the capacity, if the demand comes, we'll also announce the cargo facility in this airport."
Recognizing the need to accommodate the growing number of passengers and the saturation of the existing terminal, plans have been laid out to expand the facility by an additional 17,029 square meters of space, according to a press release. The completed expansion will extend the terminal's total area to 21,094 square meters, capable of efficiently handling 2,100 passengers during peak hours and an estimated annual footfall of 30 lakh passengers.
Scindia highlighted that the airport's runway is 3065 meters and can land Boeing 737. He emphasized the commitment to monumental progress, stating that the new terminal building, being constructed by the Airport Authority of India, is 17,000 square meters, 400 percent of the size of today's Rajahmundry airport.
The expansion includes various passenger-centric amenities, such as 28 check-in counters, conversion of the existing terminal into an arrival area with four conveyor belts, installation of eight XBIS (X-ray Baggage Inspection Systems) machines, incorporation of three aerobridges, and the establishment of food, beverage, and retail outlets. The city-side area of the airport will also be upgraded to accommodate up to 600 cars.
The press release suggested that Rajahmundry's rich heritage and cultural offerings, coupled with the new terminal building, will make it a popular destination for tourists seeking an authentic Indian experience.