The civil enclave at the Hindon Air Force base is being built at a cost of Rs 45 crore.
New Delhi: Congestion at Delhi airport’s domestic terminal is likely to reduce from March this year, after the civilian airport at Hindon in Ghaziabad is thrown open to the public for operating flights under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme. Sources in the Ministry of Civil Aviation told this newspaper that flights to Jaisalmer, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Hubli, Pittorgargh, Kannaur, among other places, will be operated from the terminal building being built by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Hindon to reduce pressure from the existing domestic terminals in Delhi.
A senior official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation told this correspondent, “We had got approvals from the Air Force to build a civil enclave at the Hindon airbase last year, keeping in mind the growing demand for air travel after the UDAN scheme was put in place, and the Air Force had agreed to our demand. This will reduce significantly the amount of pressure from the domestic terminals in Delhi. Also, flight slots at the Delhi airport are almost full; we had to accommodate newer flights, which is why we chose a part of the Hindon Air Force base to be made operational for civil operations.”
The civil enclave at the Hindon Air Force base is being built by the AAI at a cost of Rs 45.02 crore. The civil terminal is being built on a built-in area of 3,500 square metres, having a fully air-conditioned terminal building that can handle 300 passengers per hour. The bid for the Hindon air base was undertaken under the UDAN-II scheme last year.
A source in the AAI said, “The construction work at the new terminal building is almost over and is being given final touches for making it operational. This airport will be like any other airport in Delhi. It will have all facilities like check-in counters, security hold area, commercial outlets and automated baggage handling systems. The air traffic control at the Hindon airport will be taken care of by the Indian Air Force air traffic control.”
However, only small aircraft, having a seating capacity of 80 seats, will be operating out of the Hindon civil terminal.
Apart from this, to increase air connectivity, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is likely to construct 20 Greenfield airports around the country keeping in mind the AAI’s prediction that India would be handling more than 960 million passengers by 2030.
The Greenfield airports that are already being built include Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai airport in Maharashtra, Datia in Madhya Pradesh, Hirasar in Gujarat and Jewar in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, among many others. Some of the Greenfield airports that have started operations include the Pakyong airport in Sikkim, Durgapur airport in West Bengal, Shirdi in Maharashtra and Kannur in Kerala.