Wednesday, February 8

Roomier airport in revamp focus

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A consultant has suggested that the Calcutta airport set up 32 more aerobridges, extend the width of the security hold area by 7 metres and set up an additional check-in area by demolishing the old domestic terminal.

Landrum & Brown, the US-based firm which specialises in aviation planning and development, has reviewed the master plan drawn up in 2008-09 for the airport’s expansion and surveyed the new terminal building before recommending the changes based on utilisation of the facilities.

Representatives of the consultant gave a presentation on their recommendations to the Calcutta airport authorities on July 26.

“The proposal is being studied. We will give our feedback. The airline operators’ committee, too, has been asked for feedback. The expansion plan will be finalised after all the suggestions are taken into account,” said an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which had hired the American consultant.

The aviation scene has undergone a sea change since the AAI had drawn up the master plan a decade ago.

Landrum & Brown has projected that the 180,000sq m-terminal, which can handle 20 million passengers a year, will see an annual footfall of 45 million by 2027.

Officials said the integrated terminal, which now handles 20 lakh fliers a year, is nearing saturation.

The consultant has suggested that a check-in and security hold hub be set up at the spot where the old terminal building stands. The new facility, which will be adjacent to the integrated terminal, will be for domestic passengers.

“There are two proposals. According to one, an L-shaped structure housing the security hold will jut out from the check-in area,” an official said. “The other proposal is to build two parallel structures attached to the check-in hub, which will house the security hold area.”

The agency has suggested that 32 aerobridges be built for the new security hold area.

The airport has 18 aerobridges, which officials said are insufficient. Passengers are often taken to the aircraft on buses of the respective airlines.

Landrum & Brown has suggested that the width of the security hold area be expanded by five to seven metres.

“They said there is huge unutilised space between the terminal entry gates and the check-in counters. In the security hold area, on the other hand, there are not enough seats for passengers. The area is often congested,” the official said.

Besides, more retail stores are coming up in the security hold area and they need more space.

Additional space will be available once the inline baggage scanning system becomes operational, expectedly by the end of this year, and the standalone X-ray machines for baggage scanning are removed.

Officials said the washrooms in the security hold area are small, often resulting in queues. The agency has suggested bigger washrooms.

The consultant has suggested a simulation study of the two runways to ensure their optimum utilisation.

The study will document runway occupancy time of an aircraft after landing and before take-off and the minimum distance that has to be maintained between an aircraft that is landing and another that is taking off.

Source: The Telegraph

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