Indian Airports: Much Ado About Nothing

airport2.jpgI am a frequent flier owing to the fact that my father has spoilt me by allowing me to always fly back and forth whenever I wish to go home. It is no surprise, as a lot of students do the same much thanks to the many airlines that are flying to almost every corner of the country in competitive prices thus spoiling us for choice.

In the last two years I have visited quite a few airports in India which include metropolitan destinations and I have had no reasons to complain in terms of the service I received at the airports. Negative publicity, at this stage, is not required because of the pessimistic value it adds to the airport modernisation plans across India.

I have frequented the domestic terminal of the Delhi Airport since two years and the scale of improvement is remarkable and fast paced. The lounge area has been made more comfortable and constant efforts are always being made to bring out the best from the small space available. The lavatories have improved and are being maintained perfectly while the check-in counters might need more space but they are in the process of improvement.

The Delhi airport is very much in use with the inflow of passengers always on the rise and the number of flights connecting the capital of India to the rest of the country increasing day by day. There is a constant over use of the airport, and, at this rate, the modernisation of the airport will take time. There are already some very healthy signs of change at the arrival terminals, as the construction of a new part of the terminal is already in full swing.

Airports across India are changing for the better. For instance, air traffic in Chandigarh has increased from a mere two flights to about ten a day. It will only rise as this sleepy town wakes up to its IT potential. Keeping this in mind, this military airport is on its way to acquire a facelift, lest it gets cramped up in the small airport in service now. Similar was the fate of the Pune airport where air traffic has increased dramatically and whose runway was repaired recently.

Airports in the South have also improved. The Kochi airport is the best I have seen in India while Madurai, Chennai and Bengaluru have also blossomed into good airports. What surprised me was the Bengaluru airport, which had earlier come under tremendous criticism. After the revamp however, it has become not just convenient but comfortable at the same time.

The rate of flight delays have also gone down with infrastructural change that is being seen across the country’s airports. The full process of change and its implications will take time considering we are a new nation and that we have woken up late to the thrills of low cost airlines. The number of aircrafts has increased manifold in the last few years, and, as such the air traffic was bound to choke up before measures could be sought to dispense such problems. The chief cause of these problems was the exponential interest in flying by what I term as the ‘Deccan Revolution’ which made air travel less elite if not completely bringing it to the grass root level.

It is high time we realize that the airport modernisation process across India has been going on in airports which are in service and as such the results will be slow but steady. It is required of us to be patient and give support to the government and the authorities who are trying their best to bring about a constructive change in the air travel industry as a whole.

Sayan Das


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