Decks have been cleared for the expansion of the terminal building of Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport.
The building is to be converted into a two-storeyed structure, complete with aerobridges and a bigger parking bay. Senior state civil aviation directorate officials said the Bihar government had agreed in principle to demolish the buildings of the state hangar and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot to make way for the expansion.The state hangar will be shifted next to the Bihar Flying Club and three hangars will be built. Eleven acres will be transferred to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for extending the terminal. Evening flights operate only till 9-9.30pm now. Sources claimed the extended terminal building would be double the size of the one at Gaya international airport.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar has agreed in principle to shift the state hangar and IOC depot for extension of the terminal building of Patna airport. The new hangar would be developed next to Bihar Flying Club and it would have an administrative building and VIP lounge among other things. The building construction department has been asked to prepare a detailed project report for the new state hangar.
The state government and the AAI are preparing a formal proposal in this regard. Both parties are required to enter a formal agreement for the modalities of shifting facilities such as state hangar and IOC depot handing over 6.5 acres on the south-western side of the airport for extension of the terminal building. The state government is keen on extending the terminal building and is providing all possible support.
The IOC depot, adjacent to the airport, is used to refuel aircraft coming from elsewhere in the country. Aviation experts claimed that aviation turbine fuel (ATF) coming from places such as Barauni is filled in the tanks at the IOC depot. Bigger flights in need of refuelling are filled with ATF from the IOC depot. The IOC depot and the state hangar would be demolished only after the new hangar is ready and the depot is shifted. The AAI has agreed in principle to hand over around 11 acres in Aneesabad to the state in return of getting the land of the state hangar, IOC and 6.5 acres of land owned by Special Task Force (STF) on the south-western side of the airport.
Though the need of extending the Patna airport terminal building is being felt for over a decade, talks on the same picked speed from April this year. Senior officials from the Union civil aviation ministry, including secretary R.N. Choubey, held a meeting with chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and other senior bureaucrats at Patna airport on April 7. Decisions were taken to explore the option of starting commercial flight operations from Bihta airbase and extend the terminal building at the existing Patna airport.
This airport would be extended and used for domestic flight operations, while international flights would use Bihta airbase. The Indian Air Force has already given its consent for utilisation of the runway at Bihta airbase for civil aviation operations. There authorities now need to develop a civil terminal building for starting commercial operations from the airbase.”
A senior state government official said the Patna district administration had recently submitted a formal proposal to the state cabinet secretariat department for acquisition of around 108 acres near the Bihta airbase and NH- 30 for development of the civil enclave.
Source: The Telegraph