HYDERABAD: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad is all set to grow bigger by expanding its passenger handling capacity to 50 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the current approved capacity of 25 MPPA.
The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in its last meeting on September 24 recommended allotting Terms of Reference for the expansion of the airport from 25 MPPA to 50 MPPA. As per the minutes of the meeting of the EAC accessed by Express, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) which operates the RGIA, also plans to construct a second terminal at the airport, expand the existing terminal and add a third runway.
The airport expansion plan also includes expansion of cargo terminals, cargo satellite building and associate warehouse to cater up to 5.75 LTPA capacity of cargo, additional rapid exit taxiways, parallel taxiways and taxi lanes, additional aprons, GSE tunnel, general aviation and VVIP facilities, development of landslide facilities such as airport access road, multilevel car parking, passenger transport centre and commercial spaces, apart from various other facilities. GHIAL plans to complete the expansion works in two phases - to expand the capacity to 40 MPPA by 2022 and to 50 MPPA by 2028.
However, GHIAL has sought environmental clearance from the Centre to take up these works. It was as part of this process that the EAC had allotted Terms of Reference (ToR) to GHIAL for expansion works. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment Management Plan (EMP) reports would be scrutinised by the EAC again for according clearance.
Last year the MoEF had granted environmental clearance to GHIAL for expanding passenger handling capacity of Hyderabad airport from 12 MPPA to 25 MPPA. Although, public hearing has to be conducted as part of the process, but GHIAL has requested EAC to exempt the airport expansion plan from public hearing, for which the EAC has consented.
GHIAL said that when it had applied for EC for a similar airport expansion plan last year, Telangana State Pollution Control Board(TSPCB) had conducted public hearing.
It also pointed out that the airport expansion activities would be taken up within the RGIA site of 5,500 acres and no additional land is required.
The Hyderabad international airport that started with 6.2 million passengers in 2009, is expected to handle over 18 million passengers by the year-end.