Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHAIL) will soon become a hub for air travel, as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is coming up with new projects, which could further make it a favored destination in the region.

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Air travel has been hit due to Covid for nearly two years, but the authorities are hopeful that things will get better in the near future. The airport officials said that ten years ago, only 12 flights were operating from Chandigarh airport, which has now increased to 40 at present. Some private airliners are also making Chandigarh airport their base. The officials said that earlier, the old airport was only able to manage fewer PAX (the number of passengers carried by an airline) due to its handling capacity.

“To accommodate the ever-increasing need of flights to various destinations, the new building was inaugurated in 2015 with a capacity to handle approximately 4.5million PAX per annum. The new terminal building is a Joint venture of AAI, Punjab and Haryana governments, ”an official said. The officer further added that, currently, CHAIL is operating an average of 40 domestic flights per day connecting Chandigarh to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa, Bengaluru, Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Srinagar, Shimla, Kullu , Dharamshala and two international flights per week to Sharjah.

“The airport is handling an average of 10,000 PAX daily in arrival and departure,” the officer added. Speaking about the facilities at the airport, the official said that they include, web check-in facility, self-check-in kiosk, and a handling system which reduces the time spent in queues, to name a few. Various food and retail outlets have been opened at the airport for the passengers as well.

The officials added that the passenger grievance system – AirSewa, CPGrams, access to PGO, airport manager, automation of the car parking system and free pick and drop for 10 minutes are also on the list.

These apart, flight information display system in enhanced LED screens for convenience, contactless travel in view of Covid, retroreflective and passenger wayfinding signage, five aerobridges for easy boarding 18 remote parking bays to accommodate a greater number of aircrafts, a solar power plant to reduce carbon emissions and increase green initiatives are also among the newest facilities.

The Chief Executive Officer of the CHAIL, Ajay Kumar said that the airport had emerged as a big destination in the region and in the coming days there shall be more flights.

About the runways, the officials said that the runway had been developed to handle wide body aircrafts like A330, A340, B777, B787.

“Minima of landing of flights is 550meters and 350 meters for ILS Cat I & Cat II respectively which was earlier 1200 meters,” the official added. The runway has been extended on either side (500 feet and 900 feet), which now makes the length 10,400 in place of the earlier 9,000 feet long.

New projects

# Cargo terminal for domestic and international flights
# Southern Taxi Track (STT) parallel to runway 29 to reduce occupancy time and increase the number of flight handling capacity per hour
# A direct road from Chandigarh city to the airport

Base and new flights

Indigo Airlines currently has five base flights at Chandigarh International Airport. Indigo will start a new international flight to Dubai from March 27.

This apart, domestic flights to Chennai, Patna and Indore may be initiated in summer schedule.

Big leap in ten years

Ten years ago, only 12 flights were operating at Chandigarh. The new airport has also been recognized worldwide as it received the ASQ award four times consecutively in Asia Pacific region for airport in size and region.

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