Modernisation of Bhopal, Indore airports on fast track

The ongoing modernisation process of Bhopal and Indore airports is on fast track now, as the various crucial infrastructure projects at both the airports would officially commence on Friday. International flights are likely to commence from Bhopal within one year.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel is specially coming to Madhya Pradesh to lay the foundation for infrastructural projects. With the commencement of these projects, the State will inch closer to international air connectivity.

An important phase in the already underway process of upgrading Raja Bhoj Airport at par with international standards with the foundation laying of the state of the art ''Integrated Terminal Building'' on Friday. The modern complex with all the facilities available in other international airports is likely to be completed by the end of 2009. The swanky complex is likely to cost around Rs 126 crore.

Bhopal Airport director JP Alex informed that the proposed Integrated Terminal Building would be completed by the end of the current year. He added that the runway expansion was going on smoothly and almost 60 per cent expansion work was already complete. He also added that other infrastructure development projects at the airport were also going on speedily. Bhopal is being upgraded at par with international standards a cost of Rs 350 crore and with a total area of 386 acres.

A similar complex is also proposed at the Indore airport, which would be built at a cost of Rs 115 crore and in an area of 1,800 square metres. "The new terminal building is likely to be completed by December 2009," said Indore Airport director RK Singh. He added that runway expansion to make it 9,000 feet long and other basic facilities were likely to be completed by June 2010. With the completion of the proposed hanger at the airport, space for parking 10 planes would be made available.

The proposed terminal at Bhopal will be fully air-conditioned and will be equipped with escalators and modern lifts. A modern shopping complex would be developed inside the terminal building. Besides, aero-bridge and control tower would also be the part of this complex.

The integrated terminals at both Bhopal and Indore would have sufficient space for sitting space for around 700 passengers. This includes 200 passengers from international flights and 500 passengers of domestic flights.

The proposed terminal at Bhopal would also enhance the existing parking facilities at the airport. Only four planes are parked with the existing facilities and the proposed complex would have the parking space for 13 planes. It will also have enough parking space for around 500 four-wheelers.

Meanwhile, the runway expansion is already on at Raja Bhoj airport. The expansion is being carried out in two phases and it would acquire the length of 11,500 feet as per international norms. As much as 60 per cent of the work in runway expansion has been done and the expansion is likely to be completed by March 2010. With the completion of runway expansion, Bhopal airport would be ready for receiving international flights.

Other facilities proposed at the Bhopal airport include Approach Lighting System, Cargo Hub and a four-lane approach road to the terminal building. These facilities are likely to be started in the near future.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel would lay the foundation for various projects in Indore at 11 am and later in the day he would reach Bhopal airport.