Considering the surge in the passenger traffic, Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair located in the scenic Andaman and Nicobar islands is set to have a new terminal building.
Construction of a sea-shell shaped airport terminal building undertaken by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will increase the capacity from 18 lakh passengers annually to 50 lakh passengers annually. Work on construction of the New Integrated Terminal Building is pegged at a cost of Rs. 700 crore.
With total built up area of 40,837 sq m, the New Terminal Building will be capable to handle 1200 passengers during peak hours. The new passenger terminal building will have three-levels comprising of lower ground, upper ground and first floor.
The lower ground floor will be used as remote arrival, departure and service area, the upper ground floor will have entry gate for departure passengers and exit gate for arrival passengers and the first floor as a waiting lounge for international passengers.
The world-class building is totally air conditioned and will be equipped with modern passenger’s facilities with 28 check-in counters, three passenger boarding bridges, five conveyor belts with in-line scan system and state-of-the-art firefighting and fire alarm system. City side area of the airport will also be developed with adequate parking facilities for car, taxi and buses along with the landscaping.
Inspired from nature, the design of the terminal is a shell shaped structure depicting sea and islands. The New Terminal Building with a span of 240 mt having two 120 mt column less spans supported through periphery steel columns, will facilitate columns less large span arrival and departure hall.
The new terminal is designed as a structural steel framed building provided with aluminum sheet roofing and cable net glazing all around. The entire terminal will also have 100 per cent natural lighting through skylights provided at roof level. Curved shaped Cable Net Glazing will be provided all around the terminal building.
On Wednesday, AAI said that more than 65% of project work had been completed and the new terminal building of Port Blair was scheduled to be ready by the middle of 2021.
Port Blair, the headquarters of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago in northeastern Indian Ocean, is under going a massive transformation to attract tourists and business.
The islands recently got an undersea Internet cable — the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai to Port Blair. The cable will also cover the seven islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, other than Port Blair including Swaraj Dweep (Havlock), Long Island, Rangat, Little Andaman, Kamorta, Car Nicobar and Greater Nicobar.
Besides, construction on a 50-yacht marina project at Port Blair Harbour is underway. A cruising destination in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, it will be completed by December 2021. It is slated to be a key infrastructure project along with the airport that will help the Islands recover from COVID-19 when ships are allowed to resume sailing in the region.