Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (Gujarati: સરદાર વલ્લભભાઈ પટેલ આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય વિમાનમથક) (IATA: AMD, ICAO: VAAH) is India's eighth busiest airport with an average of 250 aircraft movements a day. It services the metropolitan areas of two cities in the State of Gujarat - Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar - and is located 8 km (5.0 mi) from the Ahmedabad Railway Station. It is named after statesman and former Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The airport is spread over an area of 1,124 acres (4.55 km) with the runway measuring 11,811 ft (3,600 m).Nearly all domestic airlines serve Ahmedabad, as do several international ones.
The airport is a focus city for several Indian carriers, including Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet.
The airport currently consists of four terminals: domestic, international, an additional terminal for secondary traffic and a cargo terminal. The fourth terminal has been inaugurated and is now operational. The Cargo and the domestic terminals use the same airside facilities but are physically separated on the landside, requiring a five-minute drive between them whereas the new International terminal has been constructed on the opposite of the land side of the domestic terminal and both the terminals are interconnected by an underground moving walkway.
The airport was under renovation and now has 45 parking bays and both the international and domestic terminals have four aero-bridges each.The new terminal has been modelled on the Singapore Changi Airport, a major aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new terminal has many firsts for the airport, including a half-kilometre-long moving walkway, which will connect the two terminals, making the changeover of flights hassle-free. This will also help in making the airport as an international transit hub, in turn, reducing the burden at the Delhi and Mumbai airports. It will also have sufficient room to welcome the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will spend Rs90 crore to construct a brand new technical block which will enhance the flight handling capacity and provide better control of flights.
The airport handled 2.4 million passengers in 2007-08 and is expected to handle six million passengers in 2010 and nine million in 2012, including both domestic and international passengers. Of the total traffic at Ahmedabad Airport, 75% is domestic and 25% is international. The airport well meets the standards set by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Terminal 1 - Domestic
The departures section of the terminal 1 has 30 check-in counters. The total floor area is approximately 45000 sq. meters. The terminal building has two floors. The arrival and departure areas are separated vertically with a modern, simple, straight-ahead flow system. The ground floor has three boarding gates and first floor has four aerobridges. The check-in facilities and baggage reclaim are located on level 1 (ground floor). The terminal is designed for ease of operation and minimum maintenance. It also has restaurants, book shops, retail outlets and a VIP Lounge. The arrivals section has three luggage belts, a snack counter, bureau de change, ground transport desks and a VIP Lounge. There are approximately 250 car parking spaces positioned at the Terminal 1. Additional car parking services are currently going through construction. The terminal building is designed to accommodate 1400 passengers at peak hour. The design reflects the best industry practice and caters for 24-hour-operations, under all weather conditions.
Terminal 2 - International
The Rs 316-crore new airport building, inspired by the Singapore Changi Airport, was inaugurated on 4 July 2010. The terminal is now open for public use from 15 th Sept' 2010. The design of the airport was secured through a design competition. The Terminal building is conceived as a distinctive roofline, making reference to the recognisable form of kites associated with an international festival held in the city. The kite-shaped cutouts form skylights, while the surrounding surface area is a membrane of ceiling finish from below and roofing above. The new terminal has both the arrival and the departure sections. The terminal has four aerobridges and 32 check-in counters for different airlines. With the total floor area of approximately 41000 sq. meters, this terminal will be able to accommodate around 1,600 passengers at any given time. The new 51,975 sq m apron area can cater for the parking of 9 A-321 and 4 ATR-72 type of aircraft. Ahmedabad is the only airport in western India to be equipped with travelators. The travelator, which is 11 metres wide and 410 metres long , has been put in place in an air-conditioned tunnel at a cost of Rs 80 crore. There is space for 900 cars to be parked, which is double the combined parking capacity of the old domestic and international terminals. The car parking will be handled by electronically operated gates with provision of computerized ticketing.
The total cost of the two-phase project is Rs 290.92 crore (Phase I: Rs. 195.92 crore and Phase II Rs. 95.00 crore). The Italian Thai Development (ITD)-Pratibha Consortium, Mumbai took the first phase work for the terminal building measuring 225 x 88 metres. The second phase of the extension work of the terminal building of 45 x 88 metres is being done by M S Khurana Engineering Limited.
The project has been planned according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) norms for various facilities and intelligent building management systems.
Terminal 3 - Secondary traffic
Following the opening of the new Terminal 2, this terminal building is now used for secondary traffic and for Hajj pilgrims during the 2 months of Hajj season. There are approximately 200 car parking spaces positioned at this terminal. The terminal building is small and is designed to accommodate 500 passengers at peak hour. The total floor area is approximately 7825 sq. meters. The arrivals hall consists of one entry gate and two luggage belts. Most of the facilities available at this terminal have been moved to the new International Terminal.
The Cargo Terminal handles all cargo operations. Of all the cargo handled at Ahmedabad Airport, 44% cargo is domestic, about 56% cargo is international. After the new terminal becomes operational, there are plans to use the existing international terminal as an additional space for handling cargo operations.
Transport to the airport
Ahmedabad airport is located 8 km from Ahmedabad Railway station and Central Bus Stand. Taxis are easily available to reach the Ahmedabad Airport. For the convenience of travellers, there is a prepaid taxi booth at the airport premises itself. The city centre is 15 km South West of the airport. The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) also runs the local bus service to the Airport. There are also plans to extend the Ahmedabad BRTS bus routes to cover the Airport. A plan is also being processed for a direct Metro rail service from the city center.
Airlines and destinations
Ahmedabad Airport - Terminal 2 from inside
Fixed Base Operators (FBO)
There are several fixed base operators at the airport, including:
Cama Hotel, Flying Chef & Conwood
Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil
Air Works India, Cambata Aviation, GlobeGround India, National Aviation Company of India Limited
Incidents and accidents
Proposed new airport
A new international airport at Fedara, near the port town of Dholera in the Gulf of Khambhat is under consideration.
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The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2010.
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