Of Gujarat's first green international airport....

Vadodara will soon get an international airport, which is touted to be the Gujarat's first and country's second `green' airport after Chandigarh's terminal.
The progress on the new international terminal is being directly monitored by the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who preferred Varanasi over Vadodara constituency after winning the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In fact, Modi himself is expected to inaugurate the airport, which is four times bigger than the current one at Harni. Moreover, the airport has been rated by Green Ratings of International Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), the highest national rating for green buildings conceived by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and developed jointly with the ministry of new and renewable energy. “All major works will be completed by end of this month and the airport will be fully ready by July end. PMO is directly monitoring the progress and PM may inaugurate it in August,“ said N K Shukla, general manager (projects). Nisha Agnihotri, resident architect for New Delhi-based architect firm Creative Group, said, “Right from the stage when the site was being prepared for construction to the completion stage, all GRIHA norms like cutting trees, planting new trees, recycling debris, using green rated materials, building design orientation according to climate have been followed.“
Besides a rain water harvesting system, the parking area will be made from grass-based paver blocks that are used in the green buildings. “We have simultaneously started the process of getting approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),“ said Shukla.
The terminal building's foundation was laid by former civil aviation minister Praful Patel in 2009. The aerodynamic shape building of the new terminal spread across 17,500 sq m with a capacity to handle 16,800 passengers in a day .The current airport at Harni is spread across 4,500 sq m but has less passenger area However, Barodians may have to depend on Ahmedabad airport to board long distance direct flights for the US or the UK as the existing 8,100 feet runway is not enough to handle big aircraft.
“There can be direct international flights to neighbouring countries if airlines evince interest,“ said an official. “Vadodara airport saw a growth of 30.6 % in passenger traffic last financial year.Re-carpeting of runway at Ahmedabad is one of the main reason for this rise,“ said Sonu Marande, Vadodara airport director.
Presently , 10 scheduled flights to Delhi and Mumbai operate from the Vadodara airport.

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