Citizen Report by Gurmeet Kaur
As per the list of airports with passenger traffic, aircraft movements and cargo handled table published by Airports Authority of India, Jammu airport is the 30th most busy airport of the country followed by Swami Vivekananda Airport at Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
But if we compare the infrastructure provided in both the Airports, there is a vast difference. If we talk about Swami Vivekananda Airport, it is a huge building covering an area of 18,500 m2 (4.6 acres) which is almost double that of the Jammu Airport. The Swami Vivekananda Airport at Raipur with the movement of about eight thousand aircraft last year has topped the list of 10 best non-metro airports in the country while Jammu Airport where the number was over ten thousand aircraft does not even fall in the list. Why? Jammu Airport’s infrastructure is horrible compared to Raipur Airport. This notwithstanding the fact that the passengers Jammu sees fly in on a total of 27 flights (Arrival/Departure Included) whereas Raipur sees slightly lesser number of passengers on 30 flights.
Jammu Airport generates sees more footfall than Raipur and corresponding revenue and we still have a lousier airport? Why is the question that Airports Authority of India (AAI) needs to answer.
In the year 2014, almost 952,641 passengers landed and boarded a plane from Jammu Airport, most of which were tourist visiting the city of temples while at the Swami Vivekananda Airport, the passenger movement is 925, 504 which is also fewer than Jammu Airport.
The Swami Vivekananda Airport at Raipur is newly constructed airport with all the modern facilities constructed with a cost of 136 crore rupees. The airport is way ahead in facilities provided in the Jammu Airport.
On one side, there is this airport at Ranchi with 2 aero-bridges, 20 check-in counters, 2 x-ray luggage machines, 3 security check points and 3 conveyor belt. The building can accumulate 700 passengers at one time The terminal also has a provision on 15 immigration counters for international flights which are not even started yet. On the other hand, Jammu Airport which is more busy than Swami Vivekananda Airport with bare minimum facilities and can only accommodate 200 passengers at a time.
If this is not enough then the size of airstrip at Jammu University is 6,770 feet while standard size of the airstrip in any port is 9,000 feet. The problem will only get sorted when WE Jammuites, start doing something about it.
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