Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will conduct the final inspection of the departure lounge at the domestic terminal under construction on December 24.
After that, the new terminal will be ready for use by the end of this month or the first week of January.
On November 8, the airport authorities organised the first arrival trial run, which was successful with the arrival of 18 passengers on a Port Blair-New Delhi hopping flight.
Before the final inspection, the AAI authorities had already conducted three inspections. On December 24, there will be a full-scale demonstration of all the facilities, including the security and operational aspects.
“The installation at the departure lounge is almost over. It will have 18 check-in counters. However, the new terminal will have common utility terminal equipment software, which will allow any airlines operator to work on any terminal so that the issuance of boarding passes will be easy. Earlier, the check-in counters were used according to the allotment to particular airlines,” said airport director Sharad Kumar.
With the new system, the boarding time will be reduced so there will be less chance of missing the flights. A travel agent said: “Worldwide in peak seasons, over booking always causes inconvenience for passengers who arrive for check-in a little late. By the time they arrive, the other passengers (those over booked) board the flight. With the new system in place, there will be no longer be any delay and passengers will not suffer. The terminal will be more passenger-friendly.”
The artists are also working round the clock to install art objects at various parts of the domestic terminal. Stone carvings and relief art are being given final touches by award-winning sculptor Duryodhan Mohapatra. Three more pattachitra paintings will also be placed on the walls of the departure lounge.
The arrival lounge already has a large pattachitra painting on the maritime tradition of the state. “As the final countdown has already begun, we are working overtime to install the paintings to showcase the state’s tradition on the new terminal wall,” said artist and conservationist Tanmay Mohapatra. The art installations are being done under the guidance of renowned artist Dinanath Pathy.
Senior engineers of the AAI are working extra hours to finish work on the terminal on time. A lawn in front of the terminal is also getting updated with green patches and flowering plants. Seating arrangements will be installed between the two lawns where passengers can relax while waiting for their flights.