Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here handled 21 million passengers this year and has become the six busiest airport in the country in terms of air traffic movement. It is already handling up to 60,000 passengers a day with air traffic of 550 planes, in terms of both domestic and international arrivals and departures.
“We have been seeing a robust growth in passenger traffic of close to 20% consistently in the past four years,” said senior officials of the airport, pleading anonymity.
If the first phase has been designed to handle 12 million passengers a year, the second phase of expansion currently under construction is being built to handle 34 million passengers. It has 25 airlines operating, including 21 on the international routes and eight on the domestic routes.
The country’s first modern greenfield airport developed under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, has also been the launch pad for several innovative features over the years. This year itself, face recognition trials was taken up under the Union Government’s ‘DigiYatra’ in July with more than 4,000 passengers registering for the facility and up to 6,000 passengers using it to access the airport. A body scanner trial too was taken up in October with one such facility at the third departure gates.
Other special features introduced recently are the first ever ‘FASTag Car Park’ in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India with dedicated lanes created at the entry and exit points to ensure zero wait time. It began with ICICI and soon other major banks are to be brought under the system. Non-FASTag vehicles too would continue to use the existing parking system, they explained.
The cloud-based central irrigation control system for efficient use of water in the irrigation system across the 80 acres of landscape spread along the 8.4 km stretch of the airport spine road is helping save 35% of water over the conventional mode of irrigation system.
The 1.50 lakh metric tonnes (MT) integrated cargo terminal had lifted 1.35 lakh MTs this financial year and ‘Hyderabad Cargo Charter Circle (HC3)’ was started as a dedicated platform for facilitating cargo charter operators for round-the-clock response, logistics support, etc. SpiceJet, in fact, is the first to have started an exclusive freight service from here.