• Hyderabad airport eyes Aera nod for expansion in a few months

    The GMR Group-operated Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is awaiting regulatory nod to begin second phase of expansion of the terminal, which has already reached its capacity of 12 million passengers.

    “We expect the regulatory (Airport Economic Regulatory Authority) nod in a few months to begin work on the second phase of expansion. We already handled 12.5 million passengers last fiscal, which is above our installed capacity of 12 million. So, there is an urgency to have new capacities,” CEO SGK Kishore told PTI here.

    “The first leg of the second phase of expansion will take the annual capacity to 18 million (hopefully by FY19, depending on how soon the nod comes) and 20 million in the second leg. We need 18-20 months to complete the project.”

    The third phase is expected to take the capacity to 40 million.

    He refused to share investment details, saying it has to be okayed by the regulator. He also did not share any fund-raising plans to finance the expansion.

    Located 20 kms off the city at Shamshabad, the airport was completed in a record 31 months for Rs 2,478 crore and commissioned in March 2008.

    “In the next five years, we will be expanding in phases. After the expansion, we will have a bigger terminal facility, more security lanes, more check-in counters and rooftop solar panels. As our growth is steady, we are expecting to reach 20 million passengers in the next five years,” said Kishore, a Kerala-cadre IAS officer.

    With over 12.5 million passengers, the greenfield airport is already the sixth-largest airport in the country with two runways, which are the second-largest in the country.

    On his outlook over traffic growth, he said that while growth was 20 per cent in 2015-16, a high double-digit growth is likely to continue this year as well, but refused to quantify.

    In 2014-15, the growth was higher at 22 per cent at 10.5 million. Cargo grew at 11 per cent in 2015-16.

    Of the total passengers, one-third are international ones. Hampus Lindholm Womens Jersey

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