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Rajiv Gandhi International Airport

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Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport Logo.svg
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorGMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL)
ServesHyderabad Metropolitan Region
LocationShamshabad
Opened23 March 2008 (2008-03-23)
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL617 m / 2,024 ft
Coordinates17°13′48″N 78°25′55″E / 17.23000°N 78.43194°E / 17.23000; 78.43194Coordinates: 17°13′48″N 78°25′55″E / 17.23000°N 78.43194°E / 17.23000; 78.43194
Websitewww.hyderabad.aero
Map
HYD is located in Telangana
HYD
HYD
HYD is located in India
HYD
HYD
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09L/27R 3,800 12,162 Asphalt
09R/27L 4,260 13,976 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2018 – March 2019)
Passengers21,408,972 (Increase21.9%)
Aircraft movements179,606 (Increase20.1%)
Cargo tonnage144,126 (Increase7.4%)
Statistics: Airports Authority of India[1][2][3]

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (IATA: HYD, ICAO: VOHS) is an international airport that serves Hyderabad, the capital of the Indian state of Telangana. It is located in Shamshabad, about 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of Hyderabad. It was opened on 23 March 2008 to replace Begumpet Airport. It is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. It is the only airport in India ranking in AirHelp's list of top 10 airports in the world.[4]

The airport has one passenger terminal, a cargo terminal and two runways. There are also aviation training facilities, a fuel farm, a solar power plant and two MRO facilities. As of 2019 March, RGIA is the sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic in India.[5] The airport served about 21.4 million passengers in fiscal year 2018–19.[5] The airport serves as a hub for Alliance Air (India), Blue Dart Aviation, SpiceJet, Lufthansa Cargo, Quikjet Cargo, and TruJet, IndiGo and focus city for Air India.

History[edit]

A 2018 stamp sheet dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport

Planning (1997–2004)[edit]

The existing commercial airport, Begumpet Airport, was unable to handle rising passenger traffic. The State Government initially considered converting Hakimpet Air Force Station to civilian use; however, the Air Force refused.[6] When the State proposed the construction of a new airport for the Air Force, the Ministry of Defence suggested the State consider sites south of Begumpet Airport.[7] By October 1998, the State had narrowed down to three possible locations for the new airport: Bongloor, Nadergul and Shamshabad.[8] Due to its convenient location near two highways (NH 44 and NH 765) and a railway line,[7] Shamshabad was selected in December 1998.[9]

In November 2000, the State Government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a memorandum of understanding on the greenfield airport project, establishing it as a public–private partnership. The State and AAI together would hold a 26% stake in the project, while the remaining 74% would be allotted to private companies.[10] Through a bidding process, a consortium consisting of GMR Group and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) was chosen as the holder of the 74% stake.[7][10] In December 2002, Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (HIAL), later renamed GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), was created as a special purpose entity, into which the State, AAI and GMR–MAHB placed their stakes.[7][11]

In September 2003, the members of GHIAL signed a shareholders' agreement, as well as an agreement for state subsidy of over 4 billion (US$58 million).[7][12] A concession agreement between GHIAL and the Central Government was signed in December 2004, stipulating that no airport within a 150-kilometre (93 mi) radius of RGIA could be operated.[13] Thus, the closure of Begumpet Airport was required.[14]

Construction and opening (2005–2008)[edit]

Check-in area of the terminal
Departures area

The project was activated in 2005 when Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy gained power and Construction began on 16 March 2005 when Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone.[15] Two days prior, the Central Government had named the airport after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi,[16] who had undergone pilot training in Hyderabad.[17] The naming resulted in opposition from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). At Begumpet Airport, the international terminal was named after Rajiv Gandhi while the domestic terminal was named after TDP founder N. T. Rama Rao; the TDP wanted to continue this naming convention at the new airport. However, the new airport has only one terminal.[18]

Roughly three years after the foundation stone laying ceremony, the airport was inaugurated on 14 March 2008 amid protests. The Telugu Desam Party repeated its demand for the naming of the domestic terminal.[17] In addition, on 12 and 13 March, 20,000 AAI employees had conducted a strike against the closure of Begumpet Airport, as well as that of HAL Airport in Bangalore, fearing they would lose their jobs.[19][20]

RGIA was originally scheduled to open to commercial operations on 16 March 2008; however, the date was delayed due to protests from some airlines over the high ground handling rates at the airport. Once the rates were reduced, the launch date was set for 23 March 2008.[21] Although Lufthansa Flight 752 from Frankfurt was scheduled to be the first flight to land at RGIA, two SpiceJet flights landed earlier.[22] However, the Lufthansa flight still received the planned ceremonial welcome upon its 12:25 am arrival.[22][23]

Later developments (2009–present)[edit]

In September 2011, SpiceJet launched its regional hub at RGIA, using its new Bombardier Q400 aircraft.[24] The airline, which chose Hyderabad due to its central location in the country,[25] flies to several Tier-II and Tier-III cities from the airport.[26] Regional airline TruJet too opened a hub at RGIA upon commencing operations in July 2015.[27]

In November 2014, the Ministry of Civil Aviation resolved that the domestic terminal of RGIA would be named after N. T. Rama Rao, resulting in protests from members of the Rajya Sabha.[28][29] Airport officials remained unsure as to how the naming would occur.[30]

Ownership[edit]

RGIA is owned and operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), a public–private venture. It is composed of public entities Airports Authority of India (13%) and the Government of Telangana (13%), as well as a private consortium between GMR Group (63%) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11%).[31] Per the concession agreement between GHIAL and the Central Government, GHIAL has the right to operate the airport for 30 years, with the option to continue doing so for another 30 years.[32]

Facilities[edit]

Runways[edit]

The airport has two runways:[33]

  • Runway 09L/27R: 3,707 by 45 metres (12,162 ft × 148 ft).
  • Runway 09R/27L: 4,260 by 60 metres (13,980 ft × 200 ft), ILS equipped.

Runway 09R/27L, the original and primary runway, is long enough to be able to receive the Airbus A380 which is the world's largest passenger aircraft.[34] Originally a taxiway, runway 09L/27R was inaugurated in February 2012. Its length is shorter than the main runway and able to handle aircraft such as the Airbus A340 and Boeing 747. It is mainly used when runway 09R/27L is undergoing maintenance, and as air traffic to the airport rises it will be used more often.[35] North of these runways are the three parking aprons: the cargo, passenger terminal and MRO aprons. The passenger terminal apron contains parking stands on both the north and south sides of the terminal.

Terminal[edit]

RGIA has a single passenger terminal, which covers 105,300 m2 (1,133,000 sq ft) and has a capacity for 12 million passengers per year.[36] The western side of the terminal handles international flights while the eastern side is for domestic operations.[37] There are 46 immigration counters and 96 check-in desks with 19 kiosks for self check-in.[38] There is a total of nine gates, seven of which are located on the south side of the terminal and the other two on the north side. Three gates are each equipped with two jetways to accelerate the handling of widebody aircraft. Public lounge facilities are provided by Plaza Premium Lounge, which operates three lounges in the terminal; there are also three separate lounges for VIPs.[39] The pre-security "airport village" is a meeting point for passenger pick-up.[37]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

AirlinesDestinationsRefs.
Air Arabia Sharjah
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International
AirAsia India Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai [40]
Air India Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Dubai–International, Durgapur, Jeddah, Kolkata, Kuwait, Mumbai, Muscat, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam [41]
Alliance Air Bangalore, Hubli, Kolhapur, Mysore, Nashik, Pune, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam [42]
British Airways London–Heathrow
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
Emirates Dubai–International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
flydubai Dubai–International
flynas Riyadh
GoAir Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna [43][44]
Gulf Air Bahrain
IndiGo Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Belgaum,[45] Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Delhi, Doha, Dubai–International, Goa, Gorakhpur, Guwahati, Imphal, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Kannur, Kochi, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Mysore,[45] Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Rajahmundry, Ranchi, Sharjah, Shirdi, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirappalli,[46] Tirupati, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam [47]
Jazeera Airways Kuwait
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Oman Air Muscat
Qatar Airways Doha
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh
Scoot Singapore
SilkAir Singapore
SpiceJet Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Belgaum, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jeddah,[48] Jharsuguda, Kishangarh, Kolkata, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Patna, Puducherry, Shirdi, Surat, Tirupati, Varanasi, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam[49]
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike
Thai Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
TruJet Aurangabad, Chennai, Goa, Indore, Kadapa, Nanded, Rajahmundry, Salem, Tirupati, Vidyanagar, Vijayawada
Vistara Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai[50] [51]
  • Note: Air India Operates AI126/7 from Hyderabad to Chicago via Delhi. However, it is not included in the list as there is an aircraft change in Delhi, before the flight continues to Chicago with the same flight number.

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinationsRefs.
Blue Dart Aviation Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai [52]
Cathay Pacific Cargo Delhi, Hong Kong [53]
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah [54]
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha [55]
Quikjet Cargo Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi [56]
SpiceXpress Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai [57]
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul–Atatürk, Phnom Penh, Singapore [58]

Statistics[edit]

British Airways provides RGIA's sole nonstop link to Europe, flying to London–Heathrow with the Boeing 787-8
An Air India Boeing 747-400 taxiing for departure to Jeddah
Annual passenger traffic and aircraft movements at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
Year Passenger traffic Aircraft movement
Passengers Percent change Aircraft movements Percent change
2018 20,903,930[59] +21.9% 174,617[60] +22.0%
2017 17,148,069[61] +19.6% 143,114[62] +15.0%
2016 14,337,154[63] +20.4% 124,425[64] +23.9%
2015 11,907,089[65] +21.7% 100,410[66] +7.4%
2014 9,786,925[65] +13.3% 93,508[66] +7.4%
2013 8,635,290[67] +4.3% 87,034[68] −6.7%
2012 8,277,328[67] +0.1% 93,295[68] −1.9%
2011 8,270,764[69] +13.3% 95,073[70] +16.3%
2010 7,298,064[69] +14.8% 81,732[70] +2.8%
2009 6,356,673[71] 79,515[72]

GMR Aerospace Park[edit]

The GMR Aerospace Park contains several facilities primarily related to the aviation sector.[73] It has a 100-hectare (250-acre) special economic zone, which includes a 8.1-hectare (20-acre) Free Trade and Warehousing Zone, as well as a domestic tariff area.[74]

Aviation training[edit]

The GMR Aviation Academy is located in the park. It was established in 2009 in co-operation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The academy offers programmes related to airport operations, which are accredited by the listed organisations.[75][76] The park also includes the Asia Pacific Flight Training (APFT) academy, an initiative of GMR Group and Asia Pacific Flight Training. Launched in 2013, it provides pilot training courses.[77][78]

GMR Aero Technic Ltd MRO[edit]

The MRO operated by GMR Aero Technic Ltd is one of two MROs at the airport. Built at a cost of 3.5 billion (US$51 million) and inaugurated in March 2012,[79] the facility can handle up to five aircraft simultaneously.[80] Initially, the MRO was a joint venture between GMR Group and Malaysian Aerospace Engineering (MAE), a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines. However, amid its parent's poor financial situation following the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 incident, MAE was unable to fund the MRO, which had been accruing losses.[81] GMR bought out MAE's stake in December 2014.

GMR Aero Technic Ltd is the only one MRO in private sector in India with extensive capability to maintain Airbus A320 family aircraft, Boeing 737, ATR 72/42 and Bombardier DHC Q400 aircraft. GMR Aero Technic is a world class aircraft maintenance organisation approved by EASA and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India) and various civil aviation authorities and one of the few MROs certified for AS9110 standards in South East Asia region.

[82]

Other facilities[edit]

Air India MRO[edit]

The other MRO is operated by Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), a subsidiary of Air India. Spread over 2 hectares (5 acres), the facility cost 790 million (US$11 million) to construct and was opened in May 2015.[83][84]

Cargo terminal[edit]

The cargo terminal, with a Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F being unloaded

The cargo terminal is located west of the passenger terminal. It covers 14,330 square metres (154,200 sq ft) and can handle 150,000 tonnes (170,000 short tons) of cargo annually.[85] The terminal is operated by Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between GHIAL (51%) and Menzies Aviation (49%).[86] Within the terminal is the Pharma Zone, a temperature-controlled facility designed for storing pharmaceuticals. The first such facility to be opened at an Indian airport, it is important to RGIA as pharmaceuticals account for 70% of exports from the airport.[86][87] In May 2011, Lufthansa Cargo launched its first pharma hub at the airport.[88]

Fuel farm[edit]

The airport has a fuel farm consisting of three storage tanks, with a total capacity for 13,500 kilolitres (480,000 cu ft) of jet fuel. The tanks are connected to the apron via underground pipelines.[34] Reliance Industries built and operates the farm, which can be used by any oil company under an open-access model.[89]

Solar power plant[edit]

In January 2016, GHIAL commissioned a 5 MW solar power plant near RGIA, which will be used to serve the airport's energy needs. It was built over 9.7 hectares (24 acres) at a cost of 300 million (US$4.3 million).[90] Over the following two to three years, the capacity of the plant will be raised to 30 MW, allowing RGIA to become fully solar powered.[91]

Airport hotel[edit]

Novotel hotel at Hyderabad Airport

The Novotel Hyderabad Airport, located 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) from RGIA, was opened in October 2008. The hotel includes 305 rooms, two restaurants and a lounge for aircrew.[92] It was initially owned by GHIAL before being shifted to subsidiary GMR Hotels and Resorts Ltd. Owing to high losses from low occupancy,[93] GMR began seeking buyers of the hotel in August 2015.[94]

Connectivity[edit]

Taxi stand outside the terminal

Road[edit]

RGIA is connected to the city of Hyderabad by NH 44, NH 765 and the Outer Ring Road. In October 2009, the PV Narasimha Rao Expressway was completed between Mehdipatnam and Aramghar, where it joins NH 44. This long flyover has reduced travel time between the airport and the city to 30–40 minutes.[95]

The "Pushpak – Airport Liner" service of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation provides bus transportation to different parts of the city.[96] It was launched in December 2012 to replace GMR's Aero Express service.[97]

Rail[edit]

Under the second phase of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project, a 31-kilometre (19 mi) rail link between Raidurg/Gachibowli and RGIA will be constructed.[98] As of late 2015, feasibility studies on the phase are underway.[99][100] In August 2019, K. T. Rama Rao said that state cabinet has approved the Hyderabad Metro Airport Express Link from Raidurg to the airport.[101]

The closest Indian Railways station is Umdanagar.[102]

Future plans[edit]

In 2009, GHIAL decided to postpone the second phase due to lower growth in passenger traffic than anticipated.[103][104] The phase was revived in late 2015, as the airport is expected to reach its capacity in 2016.[105] The first leg of this phase will bring the capacity to 18 million passengers annually, and the second leg will raise it to 20 million.[106] The passenger terminal will be enlarged with additional security lanes, check-in counters and other facilities, and solar panels will be built on the roof.[107] On October 2017 GHIAL CEO SGK Kishore confirmed that the airport expansion would start by January 2018 and it is expected to completed by the end of 2019. The airport terminal will be expanded to include 48 aerobridges, a larger arrival area for faster check out and more check-in desks.

In the midst of the expansion to 25 million, the grant for the 50 million PPA expansion was awarded.[108]

The final phase of expansion will increase the terminal capacity to 80 million passengers annually.[106]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Wikimedia Commons