India’s highest-commercial airport Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir is set to get wings! Yes, the Leh airport, which is located at 3,256 meters above sea-level, will have a new domestic terminal building. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone for a new domestic terminal building. The new terminal building once it is ready, will cater to the growing traffic on the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Leh airport.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has handed over the land for the new terminal building to be built at a cost around Rs 480 crore. The terminal area will be located at a sprawling area of 18,985 sqm. The new terminal building will help increase the passenger handling capacity of the Leh Airport. The domestic terminal building, once finished, will be able to handle peak hour capacity 800 passengers. There will be 18 check-in-counters in the new domestic terminal building.
The new terminal building at the Leh airport will feature double-insulated roofing and wall system. There will be LED lighting with sensors, solar power system and a sewage treatment plant in line with the objective to enhance infrastructure in an eco-friendly manner. The aesthetic beauty of the new terminal building will be manifested through the amalgamation of local art and culture in architecture design of the building. The central government has been injecting funds into the Leh airport to increase its stature.
The foundation stone laying of the new terminal building at Leh was attended by PM Modi, state Governor Satya Pal Malik, Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh, Chairman, Legislative Council, Jammu and Kashmir Haji Inayat Ali, Chairman LAHDC, Kargil Feroz Ahmed and Member of Legislative Coucil, Leh Chering Dorjay.
As on date, India has 103 operational airports including greenfield airports. India is the fastest growing civil aviation market with 20 per cent annual growth. The country saw more than 12 crore domestic air passengers in 2018. In 20 months of RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme or Ude Desh ka Nagrik), 56 airports and 31 heliports were awarded. The number of aircraft has been increased to 587 from 395 in the last four years.