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24-hour landing at Patna Airport by March next year, expansion work to begin in May 2018

Patna Airport will be the first airport in the Hindi Heartland to have night landing facilites by early next year to handle increased passenger traffic  following the influx of tourists especially from the Buddhist circuit from various Asian countries

The 24 hour landing facility at the airport is likely to be in place by the third week of March next year. Meanwhile, Work on the construction of the extended terminal building of the airport to handle 4.5 million additional passengers will begin by the middle of next year.

The decisions were taken during a meeting between Civil Aviation Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, in Patna on October 30th.

Civil Aviation Ministry officials presented three designs, out of which the one based on Nalanda University ruins, was approved. The project will be completed in 36 months.

Sharing details of the expansion plan, a spokesman of the Airport Authority of India said the Chief Minister gave several suggestions which will be integrated in the five-level structure with five aero bridges for direct access to planes.

The 5,700 square meter building, he said, would have a squarish pattern—based on Nalanda ruin structure, and have interiors with Madhubani style of art along with replica of some important artefacts exhibited in Bihar Museum.

The proposed expansion, though hamstrung by land availability woes, will have better passenger circulation area with 11 parking bays and separate levels for baggage, arrival and departure. While the scope for runway expansion is limited, the integrated building will be in a better position to handle small international flights,” he said.

The Patna Airport has been witnessing the highest traffic growth in the country, which was 21.12 lakh last year and is set to cross the 30 lakh mark this fiscal.

As for the work on Bihta airport in the state, the spokesman said that it would be over in a year’s time. The state chief minister has conveyed his desire for downsizing of the land requirement for the airport from the current level of 156 acres. The joint use of IAF and civil enclave will not be a problem area,” he said.

The proposal for setting up a green field airport at Nalanda—an Airport Authority of India (AAI) project —also came for discussion, with the AAI presenting the town planning model (TPM) developed by Gujarat’s CEPT university as an alternative proposal to allay problem involved in land acquisition.

Though only 936 acres was required for the Nalanda airport,  acquisition would not be an issue if land pooling was adopted.

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