| Work in progress to develop a new parking bay at the Patna airport on Friday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
A spacious airport terminal building annexing the existing parking area is in sight as a new space for keeping vehicles is being developed on the open ground in front of the state hangar.
The work on development of another parking lot on the rear side of the Met office would start soon. Once the parking areas are ready, the terminal building would be extended over the existing parking space. After the extended terminal building is ready, the counters of different airlines would be seen in the front lane of the existing parking area.
“We have started developing the parking bay in front of the state hangar. It would be ready by September. We shall start work on the other parking lot proposed behind the India Meteorological Department office in a couple of weeks,” said a senior official at Patna airport. He added that Rs 1.5 crore had been allocated for the new parking lots.
The extension of the terminal building would double the passenger holding capacity at Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport. The footfall at the terminal building is around 2,700 daily against its capacity of 700.
Regular fliers are upbeat about the ongoing work for the expansion of the terminal building. “It is difficult to find seats inside the terminal building when several flights get delayed. On several occasions, especially during winters, I had to stand for long because of overcrowding at the terminal building. It is high time that the authorities extend the facility,” said Prashant Kumar, a resident of Gardanibagh, who works in Tokyo.
Though the proposed extension would provide additional space to the fliers, it would be nothing compared to the provisions envisaged in the master plan. It envisages development of a second terminal building over the land occupied by IAS Bhavan or the Bihar Flying Institute on the northern side of the terminal. Airports Authority of India chairperson had written to the chief secretary in 2010 but nothing has happened till now.