(Last Updated on : 23-09-2010)
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport is also known as Sonegaon Airport. It is used to serve domestic and international flights for the public. The airport is meant to serve the purpose of the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. The airport is situated at a distance of 15 minutes from down town. Initially the airport was named as Bhimrao "Babasaheb" Ambedkar. Like other international airports, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport is also experiencing increase in traffic and to provide international standards, the airport is undergoing upgradation process.
Currently Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport through its domestic terminal serves the domestic airlines like-- Simplifly Deccan (Hyderabad, Mumbai); Jet Lite (Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune); Indian (Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Raipur); IndiGo Airlines (Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore); Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai); Kingfisher Airlines (Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai). From the international terminal, the airlines serving are-- Air Arabia (Sharjah); Indian (Bangkok); Air India Express (Dubai); Qatar Airways (Doha). Other international airlines also have plans to venture into the airport.
The airport authority has a plan to upgrade the airport to international standards for which they have proposed many plans. The Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation has planned to make a special purpose vehicle for undertaking the Rs-2,500-crore MIHAN (Multimodel International Hub Airport) project spread over 2,500 acres. The airport authority has also planned to modernise the airport. They have planned to construct a parallel runway. They are planning to cater 50 aircrafts daily and 14 million passengers in a year by 2025. The airport authority is about to provide free health facilities to air passengers in case of emergencies at Dr. Ambedkar International Airport. To fulfill the ambition, they have planned to build a state-of-the-art medical inspection centre. To tackle emergency situations, the Airports Authority of India has finalised a plan to set up a 24-hour medical care centre jointly with hospital group Hope Hospitals at the airport premises. The Airports Authority of India also plans to set up a child-care centre within the airport to provide privacy to mothers who want to breast-feed.
The Airports Authority of India also projects to start pre-paid taxis and auto rickshaw srevices. Due to this reason, the Vansh Nimaya Infraprojects Ltd, the company that operates Star Bus in the city, has been contacted and they are now planning to run air conditioned buses to provide a cost-effective alternative way of commuting between Dr. Ambedkar International Airport and the centre of the city. According to the plan, the Starbus will bring in particularly designed air conditioned coaches to connect the airport and Sadar, Chhatrapati Square, Rahate Colony, Panchasheel Square and Sitabuldi will be the pick-up points for commuters The airport authority has also planned to start such pre-paid taxi services. Presently the airport bears car-rental services that are operated by private taxi operators.
Two aerobridges are instilled in the new-look city terminal following their plan. The Airports Authority of India has also planned to set up a duty free shop in the main terminal building. They aim to provide international travellers facilities that are available in any international airport regarding shopping. They can load up on stuff like cosmetics, watches, electronic goods and imported items like internationally acclaimed wines and chocolates. The Airports Authority of India have developed a Viewers' Gallery in the old terminal building of Dr. Ambedkar International Airport. At the main terminal building, an internet cyber cafe is already there with three high-speed broadband connections. The AAI have also planned to establish ATM counters. SBI (State Bank of India) and United Western Bank have already expressed their interest in this regard.