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Airport work speeds up
- Capital set for take-off in style

Bhubaneswar, June 23: Construction work has gained pace at the new terminus building of Biju Patnaik Airport, which is set for a major expansion.

The two-storey 17,860 square metre terminus will have the capacity to handle 800 passengers, including arrival and departure.

The building’s plan has been made according to energy-saving green building concept. Computers will monitor energy efficiency of the new terminus building.

With four elevators and two escalators, it would ensure comfortable movement of passengers of all age groups. The new terminus would have a digitally controlled public address and car calling system, besides additional space for parking 10 luxury coach buses and 400 taxis.

According to airport’s director, V.N. Chandran, the project was estimated to cost Rs 150 crore. Of the two floors of the terminus building, the ground floor would be of 15,000 square metres, while the first floor would take up an area of 2,860 square metres.

Apart from the new terminus, the airport would have two aerobridges near the main taxi area near the runway for the use of passengers.

However, in the case of smaller planes and chartered services, the usual carting facility would be provided.

The ambitious project is being executed by Lanco Infratech Limited. Sources said the new road to Biju Patnaik Airport from Sachivalaya Marg would also be completed by June next year so that passengers who would use the new terminal could directly access the place.

“However, the Airports Authority of India may take some more time to make it operational as opening of new offices of different airlines and installation of equipment would require another month or two,’’ sources said.

Bhubaneswar now enjoys better connectivity with all four metros and many other state capitals. Every year, more than 10 lakh passengers use the airport.

However, the government has decided to allot additional land to extend the runway as the need for the airport’s expansion was being felt.

“Presently we have a runway that is 2,743 metres long and 45 metres. It is considered enough for an aircraft like Airbus 320. However, for bigger aircraft with more weight and wingspan, the airport needs more land. The length, width and strength of the runway need to be increased for landing of jumbo jets. The state government is cooperating. They have already taken a decision to provide additional land for the airport. It will help us in having additional space for flight operations according to the norms of the International Civil Aviation Organisation,” Chandran added.

According to the directorate general of civil aviation’s guidelines, airports need sufficient side strip space around the runway for safe landing. The additional land assured by the state government will thus help the AAI authorities plan measures as they have already devised a master plan for the existing airport.

In another development, chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik yesterday reviewed the progress of the new terminal building work at the Biju Patnaik Airport with senior officials of key departments which form the City Management Group.

While it was decided to make the Ekamra Square-Airport Road wider, the meeting also directed the authorities concerned to carry out expansion work on the road connecting Palaspalli and the airport.

The chief secretary directed government officials to provide additional land for the airport for side strips, parallel taxi tracks and expansion of the runway.

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