Civil Aviation began in India in 1912 with the opening for first domestic air route between Delhi and Karachi. Three years later, the first Indian Airline by Tata Sons Ltd started operating between Karachi and Madras. Since those early days, civil aviation has seen a complete change in India, with changes in airlines, modus operandi and ground facilities. Indian Airports which, a few decades back, could not be considered as of Global Standards have transformed so much that as much as 3 Indian Airports figure among the best in the world.
In this post, we will have a look at some of the best Airports in India and what makes them so special.
1. Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi)
Situated in the heart of the country, Indira Gandhi International Airport is the busiest airport in India. With 3 swanky Terminals, this Airport has become the most important aviation hub in India with a capacity of handling more than 46 million passengers.
The Airport is a major hub for International Flights in India and airlines from the West like Delta Airlines operate through here. The new modern avatar is equipped with Shopping Plazas, Passenger lounges, Retail outlets and Food courts making it one of the most popular airports among the passengers.
The airport received the fourth best airport award in the world by Airport Council International.
2. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai)
The Mumbai Airport gets its prominent from being in the financial capital of India. It also happens to be one of the most important Airports of South Asia and handles over 30 million passengers and a significant share of Air Cargo in India annually. This makes it the second busiest airport in India. It happens to be a major hub for passengers coming from the Middle East and the major airlines like Emirates Airlines fly to here.
The CSI Airport has 5 Terminals and has gone a major face-lift in the past few years and new facilities have been opened.
3. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (Hyderabad)
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad is a new airport which replaced the old one at Begumpet in 2008. The Airport was built on a public-private partnership, second in India, by the GMR group. Spread over 5400 acres, the airport will have the capacity to handle 40 million passengers annually when completed. At present it happens to be the sixth busiest airports in India, handling about 15 million passengers annually.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has consistently been ranked among World’s best airports.
4. Bengaluru International Aiprort
The Bengaluru International Airport located at Devanhalli replaced the old airport in 2008. Spread over 5130 acres, this airport has been designed to handle 12 million passengers annually. By 2011 it was already working at full capacity, making it the fourth busiest airport in India at 12.9 million passengers.
The Bengaluru International Airport services 10 domestic and 21 international Airlines connecting the city to 50 destinations across the world. The Airport has an exclusive terminal for Hajj pilgrims with designated prayer rooms and hot water for Wadu.
Connectivity to Bangalore remains an issue as it lies almost 40 km away from the Commercial hub, but with a new fleet of Volvo buses and a planned Metro link connecting the Airport to the city might ease this problem.
The Bengaluru Airport was awarded the Best Managed Airport in 2010 and has received a platinum rating from IATA.
5. The Chennai Airport (Chennai)
The Chennai Airport has two names, while the Domestic Airport has been named after Kamaraj, the International Terminal is known as Annadurai International Airport. One of the first airports in India, the Chennai Airport happens to be the major hub of Civil aviation in South India and is the regional headquarters of the AAI. It is the third busiest airport in India with the average annual passenger traffic at 13 million.
In the recent years, the Chennai Airport has undergone major modernization and expansion, there are plans to parallel runway, taxiways, aprons, parking bays and cargo terminal. However it still does not figure very high on the facilities parameters as per the current International Standards.
The Chennai airport was declared the ‘Airport of the Year’ for 2012 for cargo handling.