Space & new flight cheer for airport

The congested city airport got more space for passengers and flights as chief secretary Deepak Kumar inaugurated a security hold area with a corresponding boarding gate on the first floor of the terminal building, and two portable cabins that will expand the security hold area on the ground floor.

By Dev Raj
  • Published 19.09.18
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BYE TO JOSTLING, HELLO TO COMFORT: The portable cabins on the ground floor of the expanded security hold area of the Patna airport on Tuesday. Telegraph picture

Patna: The congested city airport got more space for passengers and flights as chief secretary Deepak Kumar inaugurated a security hold area with a corresponding boarding gate on the first floor of the terminal building, and two portable cabins that will expand the security hold area on the ground floor.

The facilities were inaugurated on Vishwakarma Puja on Monday, and are expected to help ease the chaotic, crowded conditions that fliers have to face at an airport that was designed to cater to people in early 1970s when there were just a handful of flights.

Now, there are around 49 arrivals and 49 departures almost every day, and the situation becomes pathetic especially during winter when fog reduces visibility leading to congestion, flight diversion and no space to cater to hundreds of passengers.

"A hall has been created on the first floor and a boarding gate has been created. Additional space for passengers has been created on the ground floor too. With these, the airport could now take extra load of passengers of three aircraft now. The new facilities are very attractive and passengers could get a view of the runway while waiting," Deepak said while inaugurating the facilities.

Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria pointed that the new facilities will make it easier to handle flights and passengers during winter, when the visibility clears for just a couple of hours or so and all flights have to land and take off within that window.

"The new terminal will take around three to three-and-a-half years, so till that time the existing building will have to be used," Lahauria said. "Keeping this in mind we have made modifications and extensions. The passengers from the newly created security hold area on the first floor do not need to step down to the ground floor of the terminal building. We have created a separate fifth boarding gate for them."

The evening congestion in the security hold area on the airport ground floor till a few days ago. Telegraph picture

He said efforts were being made to extend the terminal building on the eastern side before the onset of winter so that passengers do not face difficulties this season. The number of approach lights will also be increased so that flights can land even when the visibility drops to 750 metres.

Flight to Ahmedabad

A nonstop flight service between Patna and Ahmedabad is going to start from October 28. It is expected to be a hit among those from Bihar settled or working in Gujarat and for traders who have to shuttle between the two states, especially those engaged in textiles, jewellery, diamond, petrochemical and plastic products.

SpiceJet will start the flight. There will be one flight to Ahmedabad and one from there daily on all days except Sunday.

Flight SG954 will leave Ahmedabad at 12.30pm and reach Patna at 1.55pm. The return flight, SG955, will leave Patna at 2.25pm and reach Ahmedabad at 4.25pm. At present the fares are a little below Rs 4,000.

The Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries had been demanding a nonstop flight between Patna and Ahmedabad for a long time.

"We are glad that the flight between Patna and Ahmedabad has started," said Chamber president P.K. Agrawal. "We have been demanding direct flights to Jaipur and Kathmandu too and hope that they will also be started." The new flight will enhance travel and business communication between Bihar and Gujarat, he said, and lead to an increase in economic activities.