With the commencement of these new routes, Surat which is already a business and entrepreneurship hub, will now be connected to 10 cities including one international city, said Scindia. He added that Surat was connected with only two cities prior to 2014.
The government has sanctioned INR 350 crore for the redevelopment of Surat airport, is the second busiest airport in Gujarat after Ahmedabad in terms of both aircraft movements and passenger traffic. Out of the allocated funds, INR 163 crore is for the construction of a new terminal building. This will help increase the passenger holding capacity from the current 17.5 lakh passengers to 26 lakh passengers.
This new terminal is expected to be completed by mid-2023. In addition, new airport aprons will also be developed with an investment of INR 72 crore.
Speaking further about the growth of air connectivity in Surat and Gujarat, the Minister also said that prior to 2014, there were only 36 weekly flights from Surat which as of today, has grown by 322 per cent to 152 flights per week.
At present, there are ten airports in Gujarat and two new greenfield airports namely Dholera and Hirasar are in the pipeline with investments of INR 1305 crore and INR 1405 crore, respectively.
The AirAsia India flights launched yesterday, will operate the Airbus 320 aircraft on the 21 weekly flights from March 3. “Improved air connectivity among Surat, Bengaluru, Delhi, and Kolkata will help boost tourism and trade in the region,” the official statement said.