24-12-2017 09:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Runway of Lakshadweep airport to be extended
Following the green nod given by the Airports Authority of India(AAI), Lakshadweep’s Agatti airport may soon have a runway built on a sea bridge. This would be a first in India as an RCC platform will be built on the beach and shallow beach to extend the runway.
The longer airstrip will enable bigger ATRs to fly to the island. Earlier there were plans of extending the runway by linking two adjacent islands. However, the plans couldn’t take off and needed to be changed owing to environmental concerns.
The other alternative was to erect pillars on the beach and shallow sea area and build an RCC platform on that. The runway and the terminal will be expanded in the extended area. This plan got the consent from the AAI.
According to an AAI official, the entire project will cost Rs 1,500 crore. The runway will be long enough for ATR-72 to operate. Currently, only smaller turboprops operate there. Therefore, there is a limit on the number of passengers and the baggage that they can carry. The fares are also on the higher side.
The newly improved airport will help in bringing the fares to an affordable level. Agatti could be India's first runway-on-sea bridge as the same was considered for two more airports — Juhu airport in Mumbai and Kullu — but was not found suitable for those places.