Ayodhya: The first commercial flight operation at the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram Airport in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya will begin with the expected opening of the grand Ram temple in January 2024, officials said.
The Ram Temple’s consecration ceremony is likely on January 22 next year.
“It is a race against time, but the airport will be completed along with the construction of the Ram temple,” said an official.
According to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials, in the second phase, Ayodhya will have international commercial flight operations.
The first phase includes commercial flight operations from Ayodhya airport, a 2245-metre-long runway development and installation of a Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) as well as a homing gate system.
DVOR is standard International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) ground-based radio navigational aid that provides bearing information to aircraft to define air traffic control routes for en-route, terminal and instrument approach as well as departure procedures.
Glidepath (GP) for a descent profile determined for vertical guidance during a final approach of aircraft and instrument landing system, precision approach path indicator have also been installed.
With night and fog landing facilities in place, the first phase of Ayodhya airport operation will only handle domestic operations.
For international operation in the second phase, the runway will be extended up to 3,125 metre with a second terminal constructed on a 30,000 square metre area. The entire airport is spread across 821 acre.
More than 70 per cent of the construction work of Terminal-1 along with the air traffic control tower, apron, taxiway, and isolation area has been completed.
The airport will be able to handle 500 passengers per hour and will hold eight Airbus A-320 aircraft at a time.
“All ground instrument calibration has been completed. The airport is expected to be completed along with Ram temple construction, after which Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will give licence for commercial operations,” said AAI engineering in-charge for Ayodhya airport, Rajeev Kulshrestha.
He added, “Airlines will set up their infrastructure to handle passenger and flight operations. We expect that by the early first quarter of 2024, Ayodhya airport will connect cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, apart from Kolkata and national capital Delhi.”
The current cost of first phase of the project is Rs 323 crore. The airport entry and exit will have four lanes that would be connected with Sultanpur road directly.
The pillars and roof fabrications of Terminal-1 is being covered and bolted with glass reinforced concrete slabs, which looks like Lord Ram temple structure.
“Glass reinforced concrete slabs are lightweight but look like carved heavy stones. A team of 70-80 men are working day and night to bolt them on roof and pillar with iron frame, so that the airport literally becomes a gateway to the Ayodhya Ram temple,” the official added.
According to AAI, the internal design of the domestic terminal will depict various phases of Lord Ram’s life and will invoke a sense of spirituality right from the moment one steps inside it.
There will be solar panels next to the vehicle parking area to make the airport power efficient.
The glass panels will also help the terminal to allow more natural sunlight. Once the airport comes into operation, it will have CISF security as well as local police personnel security detail.