• AAI may get additional land for Surat airport soon

    If all goes well, Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be allotted additional chunk of land by the state government for immediate expansion of runway up to 3,810 metre by the end of this year.

    The district administration had set up teams comprising officers from the department of land resources (DLR), mamlatdar and executive engineer to carry out survey for the 63 hectares of additional chunk of land required for the expansion of Surat airport.

    Sources said AAI requires 63 hectares of land for immediate expansion of runway up to 3,810 metre and another 800 hectares for future development of Surat airport. AAI intends to construct a parallel runway of 1,525 metre. AAI is ready to spend on the expansion of Surat airport.

    Things are moving at a fast pace after Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha personally urged chief minister Vijay Rupani on the need to allot additional land for the expansion of the runway in March.

    Official sources said Sinha had met Rupani and urged him to speed up the allocation of additional land, which is required for the expansion of the runway from 2,905 metre to 3,810 metre. Rupani instructed district collector Mahendra Patel to speed up the land allotment, which is lingering on for the last so many years.

    At present, the total airport land, which includes tarmac, runway and terminal is spread over in 317 hectares. If the state government allocates additional 63 hectares of land, the airport area would total up to around 380 hectares. AAI has taken up expansion of the existing runway from 2,250 metre to 2,905 metre. The work is likely to be completed by June 2017.

    “We immediately require 63 hectares of additional land from Gujarat government for expanding the runway from 2,905 metre to 3,810 metre in the second phase. With this expansion, Surat will be able to cater to full-fledged international flight operations, like Ahmedabad airport. We have submitted plan details to SUDA for land reservation and things have been set in motion,” said airport director Pramod Kumar Thakre.

    District collector Mahendra Patel told TOI, “Teams were formed to survey the 63 hectares land required by AAI. We are awaiting the report of the said survey. Once, the report is in, the process of allotting the 63 hectares land will be speeded up.”  Jersey

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