The Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur which is vying for the ‘International Airport’ tag is bracing up for a Rs 100 crore runway expansion project to facilitate landing of wide-bodied aircraft.
The runway expansion work is scheduled to begin in March this year. “The Airport is currently catering to aircraft with a load of upto 180 passengers. But after the expansion, aircraft with a capacity of 250 to 300 passengers would be able to land in Raipur Airport,” Swami Vivekananda Airport Director AK Rai informed The Pioneer.
As of now, average daily passenger traffic at the Swami Vivekananda Airport is 1,200 passengers. The numbers rises to 1,600 on peak days. Excluding emergency landings that happen rarely, 13 scheduled flights arrive and depart from the Airport on a daily basis. Expansion of the runway will open doors to more passengers which will translate into more business for the airport. It is also likely to boost tourism and business for the state.
Presently, the runway at the airport is 2.28 km-long. After the expansion work is complete, it will stretch to 3.25 km. This expansion will allow the airport to cater to ‘4D’ aircraft which can be up to the size of a Boeing 767 or Airbus A310. Apart from big aircraft, the smaller aircraft will also be benefitted from the expansion. “During winters, coming to halt becomes difficult for the aeroplanes as density of the air increases.
The aircraft either have to reduce their fuel, cargo or number of passengers for a smooth landing. This problem will cease to exist after the expansion,” explained Rai. The airport on Tuesday received a national award from the Centre for being the best airport in the country. “It is an honour to receive the award and we will constantly be upgrading our services to maintain the standard,” said the airport director adding that the award has boosted spirits of the airport employees.
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