The Airports Authority of India (AAI), while aiming to complete the terminal in a record time of 11 months, has also expanded its plans for the airport by deciding to construct more aircraft parking bays than earlier planned, according to a TOI report. Kumbh Mela will start from January 15 and will end on March 4, 2019. The state of Uttar Pradesh is expecting lakhs of devotees to visit the holy city that time.AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra was quoted in the report saying that the authority is building more aircraft parking bays than originally planned since there is a huge demand for connecting Prayagraj city to other parts of the nation. This is being done at an additional cost of Rs 40 crore, he informed. The AAI Chairman said that the Indian Air Force station at Prayagraj has a civil terminal of the size of a bungalow. He further added that two rooms of that bungalow serve as the arrival and departure hall.
Mohapatra said that once the new terminal building was decided, the authority had less than 11 months to start and complete the building. He further informed that Prayagraj, under round two Udan, is not only getting more flights from Air India but also from other airlines like Jet Airways. Unlike earlier, when just one parking bay was planned to allow one plane to be parked at a time, now the authority is coming up with three to four more parking bays, he added. The initial estimated cost to build the terminal was around Rs 126 crore. However, the amount has now gone up by Rs 40 crore.
Since the city in Uttar Pradesh has a bench of the High Court, it is an important centre for learning as well as a major pilgrimage. Hence, the demand for improved air connectivity has been increasing now. According to the report, a couple of months back when a team of Aviation Ministry officials met Yogi Adityanath, the UP Chief Minister suggested a new terminal building be built at Prayagraj in order to enhance capacity.