Gujarat: State’s Largest Greenfield Airport At Hirasar To Soon Begin Flight Operations

Ankit Saxena

Mar 07, 2023, 05:57 PM | Updated 06:01 PM IST

Perspective Image of Greenfield Rajkot Airport.
Perspective Image of Greenfield Rajkot Airport.

The airport at Hirasar in Gujarat's Rajkot district will be ready for operations by the end of this month, having the longest runway in the state, a senior official said, as per report by Business Standard.

The opening of commercial operations of this greenfield airport is projected to benefit the entire Saurashtra region. This airport is also set to become the largest airport in the state.

Rajkot District Collector, Arun Mahesh Babu announced that runway calibration flights began on Saturday (4 March 2023) and were carried for two days, marking a major milestone in the development of the Hirasar airport situated on the outskirts of the Rajkot city.

The official release further stated, “an aircraft will take off from the existing Rajkot Airport in the middle of the city at 9 am on Saturday and will land on the runway of the under-construction airport at Hirasar, around 20 km east of the city at 9.10am”.

Regarding the work progress of the airport, over 90 per cent of the development work had been completed.

The approach road from the main road will be completed this month. A temporary terminal with single-luggage transport and checking is ready, which will be used as a cargo terminal in the future.

A permanent terminal will be ready by the year-end. The terminal building will be capable to handle nearly 1,800 passengers during peak hours.

Earlier in January 2023, Union Civil Aviation secretary, Rajiv Bansal, visited the under-construction Hirasar airport to review the progress of the work, and gave necessary instructions to make the airport operations ready by end of March this year, reports The Indian Express.

The new greenfield airport is located approximately 30 km from Rajkot city and on the Rajkot-Ahmadabad highway (NH-47).

The airport has been designed with the longest runway in the state, with a length of 3.5 km.

The runway will be capable to serve AirBus-321 type of aircraft and the apron will be suitable for parking 14 aircraft. It also has a 700 m long water tunnel below the runway - which will be the longest in Asia.

The Centre in 2017 had given a green clearance for the airport project with the cost of Rs 1,405 crore.

The new airport was proposed in the district, as the existing one is small to handle the capacity.

To enhance connectivity with major cities and meet the demand from manufacturing companies in Rajkot, the Rajkot Urban Development Authority and Rajkot Municipal Corporation had suggested expanding the current airport's runway to accommodate larger aircrafts.

However, the proposal was hindered by challenges of acquiring land and high costs, prompting the need to construct a new greenfield airport for Rajkot.

The greenfield airport is spread over 1,025.54 hectare, of which 96.48 per cent of the land comes under the government. The total built-up area of the airport is 23,000 square metre.

The new airport operations will result in a reduction of both time and costs associated with logistics for various industries in the region, while additionally it will also open new employment opportunities.

There are several small-scale and heavy industries located in Rajkot. The city is playing an important role in complex supply chains with a global perspective, which is expected to grow exponentially.

At present, there are two greenfield airports — Hirasar and Dholera, along with 10 other airports in the state of Gujarat.  

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