MADC completes extension of Shirdi airport, work for night-landing facility

Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has recently completed the extension of the Shirdi airport, from 2,500 metres to 3,200 metres. Work for the night-landing facility has also been completed. The project cost INR 41.85 crore.

Shirdi, where the resting place of 19th-century spiritual figure Sai Baba is located, sees lakhs of devotees every year at the Sai Baba temple. The Shirdi airport started commissioning on October 2, 2017. It had 13 arrivals and same number of departures each day until the lockdown was imposed last year.

Deepak Kapoor, Managing Director,MADC, said, “We decided to make use of the time we had and completed the extension of the runway and the night-landing facility. The labour force in Shirdi comes from Karnataka and most of them went away when the lockdown was imposed. We got labourers from local areas, extended the runway by 700 metres and constructed two additional taxiways. There was a demand from airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India for a longer runway so that they could bring bigger aircraft.”

Kapoor added that a lot of devotees arrive at Shirdi from Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Chennai and the airport witnesses the traffic of four to five flights from these sectors along with two to three flights from Bengaluru and one each from Bhopal, Delhi and Indore. Besides, there are regular flights from Mumbai. Shirdi is the fourth busiest airport after Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. In terms of passenger load, it’s third airport after Mumbai and Pune.

Kapoor added that a lot of devotees arrive at Shirdi from Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Chennai and the airport witnesses the traffic of four to five flights from these sectors along with two to three flights from Bengaluru and one each from Bhopal, Delhi and Indore. Besides, there are regular flights from Mumbai. Shirdi is the fourth busiest airport after Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. In terms of passenger load, it’s third airport after Mumbai and Pune.

Kapoor said now with the night-landing facility about to start, flights can arrive at Shirdi at night and devotees can reach the temple for Kakad Aarti (morning prayers at 4.30 am) and leave the same day. (Source Indian Express)

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