Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI), Ahmedabad is adding new bays. The addition will help the airport tide over immediate crisis of shortage of aircraft bays and could help the airport dole over additional slots to airlines and increase passenger footfall. Ahmedabad (IATA: AMD) is one of the six airports which were bagged by the Adani group as part of privatisation of airports plan of Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Where and how many?
The seven new parking stands are being operationalised at Apron-2 which is the international apron but there have been long term plans of using the International terminal for part domestic operations as Terminal 1 which currently serves domestic has been overflowing and has limited space for passengers. These bays are numbered 37 to 43 and are suitable for Code C type of aircraft which comprises the B737 and the A320.
These bays are all power-in and push-back type, which means there are no aerobridges to connect to them. Fuel will be provided by bowsers to all aircraft which are parked on these bays.
AAI has released a revised AIP.
One can get a clearer idea by comparing the Bing map and Google map images with Bing being the older image showing the empty space where the bays were constructed and Google maps showing the constructed bays with the grounded B737 MAX of Spicejet occupying them.
The first image is a snippet from Bing maps.
The below image is from Google maps
AAI also constructed another Apron – named Apron-3 which is connected to Apron -1 and built on the area which is North – West of Apron – 1. Private jets were moved to Apron – 3 so as to make more space for scheduled and unscheduled commercial aircraft services on Apron – 1.
In January this year, apron taxiway designators were amended to ensure that more commercial flights can be accommodated. While traffic has reduced, the work to increase capacity had been ongoing at Ahmedabad for the last few years.
Ahmedabad and the real problem
The real problem at Ahmedabad lies somewhere else – which is the runway. There is only one runway – like most airports in the country. However, there isn’t a parallel taxiway for the entire runway. This makes aircraft backtrack on active runway which leads to higher runway occupancy time and reducing the number of movements which the runway can handle.
Without land to have the parallel taxi track extended all the way, increasing capacity will always be a challenge. Ahmedabad is the seventh busiest airport in the country. It is the only airport in the country which sees all airlines operate. Even Mumbai or Delhi do not see operations from all scheduled airlines in the country!
A new airport is being constructed at Dholera which will be in addition to the existing airport. The SVPI airport is expected to get a facelift and largescale changes with additional amenities on the passenger side with the airport now in control of Adani Group.