Gandhinagar, November 15: Rs 1,300 crore proposal for 80,000 square metres third terminal of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport has ben approved by Airport Authority of India(AAI). It will come up next to the present domestic terminal - 1. According to Airport Director, the foundation stone for new terminal will be laid early next year. The number of domestic passengers travelling to and from this airport is doubling every three years which has necessitated expansion of airport infrastructure.
Terminal-3 will be built next to the existing domestic terminal (Terminal-1), toward the right while facing the entrance to the terminal. Preparations for construction of the new terminal are in their final stages.
"With the plan for the new terminal being cleared a couple of months ago, we expect that the foundation stone will be laid in early 2019," Manoj Gangal, the director of SVPI airport said.
AAI has decided that the new terminal will serve domestic passengers. "The number of domestic passengers travelling to and from SVPI is doubling every three years. Thus there is a space crunch despite the expansion of the arrivals area and the security hold part of the departures area," said Gangal.
SVPI handles an estimated 35,000 passengers every day, with the domestic terminal accounting for 80% of this, AAI sources said. In the financial year 2017-18, the two terminals at SVPI handled some 91.2 lakh passengers, according to AAI. This means the airport has passed its total passenger handling capacity of 85.1 lakh passengers per annum for both terminals combined.
"This year, the growth in the number of fliers has been too great. By the end of 2018-19, the number of passengers handled by SVPI will definitely cross 1.1 crore per year," said an AAI official.