The highest commercial airport in the country, the revamped Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, will open doors to those seeking serenity in Leh, soon.
The project has been initiated by the Airports Authority of India and involves three architecture consultants—Paul Mutton from Australia-based Guida Moseley Brown Architects and Vipul and Harsh Varshney from Lucknow-based Sthapati Associates.
The final designs have been submitted and approved and the Lucknow-based architects recently met the aviation minister in Delhi to take him through the project.
Keeping the philosophy of ancient Buddhist wisdom intertwined with modern ethos, the design closely incorporates Buddhist design elements in the structure.
Placed at 3,256 metres above mean sea level, the airport terminal building has been planned across 16,500 square metres.
While photo-voltaic cells for roof and external lighting will reduce 60% of electrical load, cavity walls will be built for thermal insulation.
Besides, recycled water will be used for landscaping, and multi-function heat pump air-cooled chillers will produce chilled water all the year long. For other sanitary requirements, hot water will be produced with the same technology.
The current terminal is capable of handling 250 peak-hour domestic passengers with annual handling of 0.2 million people. Its own recorded traffic witnessed a rise of 14.6% passengers in the past five years.
“This called for expansion and revamping of the current saturated terminal to meet increased traffic demands,” she adds.