BY TTT NEWS NEWORK
The Veer Savarkar International Airport in Andamans will be closed for runway resurfacing works four days a week totalling 40 days between 10 January to 23 May this year.
The passengers, travel agents and other concerned people have been advised to plan their journeys to Port Blair accordingly.
The runway will remain closed from 10 January to 13 January, 24 January to 27 January, 7 February to 10 February, 21 February to 24 February, 7 March to 10 March, 21 March to 24 March, 4 April to 8 April, 18 April to 22 April, 2 May to 6 May, 16 May to 20 May 2023.
Talking to The Travel and Tourism Times, Mr. Anil Punjabi, Chairman ( East) of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) said that business will have an impact certainly as Andamans has remained as an evergreen sector and it also attracts foreign tourists and chances are high that due these shutdown we may lose tourists to Thailand.
Located 2 km south of Port Blair, Veer Savarkar International Airport serves the islands of Andaman and Nicobar. It is a civil airport and its facilities are shared with the Indian Navy. The terminal is managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), while the traffic is handled by the Indian Navy.
Veer Savarkar International Airport is an international airport is located at South of Port Blair and is the main airport of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. Originally known as “Port Blair Airport”, it was recrishtened in 2002 after Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who had been detained in the Cellular Jail in the city for 10 years. It operates as a civil enclave, sharing airside facilities with INS Utkrosh of the Indian Navy
The airport has a single runway of 3,290 m (10,794 ft) in length, accommodating most narrow-body aircraft, that includes Airbus A320, Airbus A321, and Boeing 737. Except for the civilian terminal operated by the Airports Authority of India, all other air traffic operations over Port Blair are undertaken by the Indian Navy.
The passenger terminal has a capacity of 400 passengers. It covers an area of 6,100 square metres. There is only one terminal, with two gates and no aerobridges. Buses are used to provide transportation from the terminal to the aircraft parked on the apron.
Due to increasing traffic, a new 40,837 sq.m. passenger terminal at a cost of ₹ 707 crore is under construction since 2019. It will have three floors–one for arrivals, second for departures and third for waiting. Inside the terminal, there will be 28 check-in counters and four conveyor belts. Initially, it was planned that it will have three aerobridges, but recently, it has increased to four. It will be able to handle 1,200 passengers (600 domestic and 600 international) at peak hours, and will be able to serve 5 million passengers per annum.
The terminal building will have skylights along the roof to allow 100 percent natural light penetration for 12 hours daily.
AAI said that it has completed more than 80 percent of the project’s work.
Once operational, the new Port Blair Airport terminal is expected to boost the tourism industry and create new employment opportunities in this archipelago.
About Andaman and Nicobar Islands-
Sparsely-populated beaches that give way to an ocean brimming with interesting marine life and coral gardens are just one of the reasons to visit the beautiful Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Ghandi Park, Sippighat Farm and the century-old Cellular Jail (now a pilgrimage destination) provide glimpses into the past and present of these peaceful islands with a mysterious and multicultural past.