Vadodara airport set for makeover
That block of concrete that Barodians call airport will soon go aerodynamic. After a two-year wait, work on the new integrated building at the Harni airport will finally take off in July and will be completed in 18 months. Former Union aviation minister Praful Patel had initially promised a fully operational international airport by the end of 2010. The new terminal building will be designed like an airplane with an aerodynamic roof. While the existing terminal is housed in a 7,600 sq m area, the new one will be spread across 17,500 sq m. Airports Authority of India (AAI) sources said a Delhi-based firm has been selected to construct the Rs 115-crore terminal. Another Delhi-based firm ‘Creative Group’ has designed the airport. “Approaching the new terminal, passengers will see its aerodynamic volume levitating above the landscape,” said a senior AAI official. The terminal will be able to handle 700 domestic and international passengers during peak hours. It will have a stepped pool separating the visitor area and the check-in zone. Apron services will also be extended for parking seven aircraft. For supervising the work, AAI has picked up Ahmedabad airport’s general manager (engineering projects) N K Shukla. He said the work to raze the existing structure has begun. Last week, Vadodara MP and state BJP general secretary Balkrishna Shukla had threatened an agitation across central Gujarat if work on the airport did not start soon. Currently, Harni airport operates a few flights to domestic destinations like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore daily. “The former aviation minister had laid the foundation for a new terminal in February 2009. It is good to know the project is finally taking off. International flights will see healthy traffic round the year as many from Vadodara and Anand are settled abroad,” said a Vadodara-based businessman.