The move will allow ATR-72 aircraft to land comfortably.
In a bid to allow bigger ATRs to operate on Lakshadweep, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), aims to extend Lakshadweep’s Agatti Airport, by building an RCC platform on the beach and shallow sea.
The Rs 1500 crore project, makes provisions for the runway to be long enough to allow ATR-72 aircraft, in addition to smaller turboprops, to operate, a senior AAI official informed the Times of India.According to him, the original island-linking plan was altered due to environmental concerns.
The AAI’s original plan was to link two adjacent islands and extend the runway. Now, an RCC platform will be built on pillars erected in the shallow sea area and the beach.
This move will help make airfares affordable. The airfare to and from Agatti are on the higher side, as ATR-72 aircrafts are running with load penalty and carry a maximum of only 50 passengers, with 15 kg luggage, as against 65 passengers with the maximum luggage of 15 kg, without provisions for paid luggage.
This project is India’s first successful runway-on-sea bridge. Earlier projects, one for Juhu airport in Mumbai, and the other for Kullu were not completed.
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Affordable airfares, and environmental sustainability—two objectives successfully met, by the Airports Authority of India. Passengers travelling to and fro from the beautiful islands will be met with brilliant views of the azure waters. A great start to a vacation indeed!