BMA director A.V. Krishna displays the model of the terminal building in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Manik Bose
Ranchi, Feb. 16: Birsa Munda Airport (BMA) is all set for a makeover to include technological upgrades and modern facilities with civil aviation minister Praful Patel scheduled to lay the foundation stone for a new terminal building on Friday.
The building, which would have a natural lighting system and advanced online baggage inspection facilities, would be able to handle 500 domestic and 200 international passengers.
The airport would also come up with facilities to park as many as 600 cars.
Releasing the blueprint for the new terminal, BMA director A.V. Krishna, said the new terminal building would be “integrated” with the existing one in order to maximise passenger-holding capacity. The present terminal building can hold up to 200 passengers.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI), which would construct the facilities at BMA, has also come up with an apron area for three additional aircraft in addition to the present two. Now, five aircraft would be parked here.
Krishna said the new terminal building was scheduled to be completed by the year-end at a cost of Rs 110 crore.
“The online baggage inspection system will ave six layers of online checking without opening the baggage. But if it is felt that checking is still incomplete, it can be done manually, too,” said Krishna.
The BMA director also said the AAI master plan included the construction of an air cargo centre for transporting perishable foodstuff such as vegetables, milk and fruits.
Kingfisher Airlines has expressed its willingness to begin “belly cargo” in all its three aircraft operating from BMA, he said.
The airline also plans to begin operations between Patna-Ranchi-Mumbai in the next few months.
While the new terminal building would come up in the existing space — on the eastern side of the BMA using the available area — the expansion plan includes an addition of another 1,500ft to the existing 8,900ft runway.
Krishna said the state government has plans to take over 178 acre army land situated on the eastern side of the boundary of the airport and hand it over to the AAI for BMA’s expansion.
“Apart from the 178 acre army land, the state government has assured the AAI to arrange for more land so that we can go ahead with the expansion plans. We will soon be entering into an agreement with the state government on this,” Krishna added.
Another air traffic control tower with 100ft would come up to add to the 50ft tower already present.
No international flights operate from BMA but AAI authorities expect that in the next one-year, they would be able to convince airlines to operate international flights for Bangkok and Singapore, among others.