The state-of-the-art Terminal 2 or T2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday. Built at cost of over Rs5,500 crore, the terminal will be thrown open to public within four weeks. Earlier, the operation was to start from this month itself.
“Mumbai deserves a world-class facility like the T2,” Singh said, adding that “opening of T2 will inspire other infrastructure projects to achieve similar feat.”
Maharashtra governor K Shankarnarayan, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh and Union agricultural minister Sharad Pawar were also present at the event along with other central ministers and bureaucrats.
According to aviation experts, development of the airport seems significant for the city as unlike other important airports, CSIA is located in a confined area with no space to expand. Only 1,400 acres are available.
“On the contrary, Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports have over 5,500 acres of land available and the development had to be carried out without disrupting the on-going flight operations,” Chavan said.
Airport insiders claim that CSIA’s area per passenger is one of the smallest in the world, yet it manages about 19 per cent of the country’s air passenger traffic and about 29 per cent of the nation’s cargo traffic.
In 2012-13, the airport handled 30.21 million passengers and 0.6 million tonnes of cargo. According to forecast by aviation experts, the passenger traffic in Mumbai is expected to reach 80 million per annum by 2026. Likewise, the air cargo is expected to reach 2 million tonnes. With the opening of T2, the passenger capacity of CSIA will shoot up more than 40 million passengers annually. Under the privatisation policy of the central government, CSIA was given to private parties for modernisation in 2006. GVK-led consortium bagged the contract for Mumbai airport.
The spanking four-storey glass marvel, whose design has been inspired by a dancing peacock, has some of the most advanced state-of-the-art passenger convenience system. It has 208 check-in-counters, 43 security pedestals, 161 elevators, one day hotel and one transit hotel, automated baggage system capable of handling 9,600 bags per hour, and a dedicated 6-lane elevated expressway.
The terminal also has country’s largest multi-level car parking area as well as world’s longest cable stayed glass wall (15 metres).