AAI expands aircraft parking bays
AVIATION & AIRPORTS

AAI expands aircraft parking bays

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is set to enhance air connectivity by adding 160 aircraft parking bays at 27 airports within the next two years. This expansion is aimed at accommodating the growing demand for air travel, particularly as domestic airlines like Air India and IndiGo have placed orders for approximately 1,500 aircraft that will be delivered over the next decade. In the fiscal year 2024, it is projected that domestic airlines will induct around 100 new aircraft.

AAI plans to construct 104 parking bays at 16 airports by the end of 2023 and an additional 56 bays at 11 airports in 2024. All these bays will be suitable for Code 'C' type aircraft, ranging from ATR-72 to Airbus A321. Notably, airports with significant domestic passenger traffic such as Amritsar, Goa (Dabolim), Kolkata, and Patna will receive additional aircraft parking bays. Amritsar and Kolkata will see these additions in 2023, while Goa and Patna will get new bays in the following year.

Other airports, including Leh, Raipur, and Tirupati, will also benefit from extra parking bays. The expansion at Leh Airport is particularly valuable due to its limited operating window caused by challenging weather conditions. Additionally, this development plan includes airports in Datia and Rewa (both in Madhya Pradesh) and Solapur (Maharashtra), despite the absence of scheduled airline flights at these locations.

Ameya Joshi, founder of the aviation blog Network Thoughts, highlighted the significance of capacity additions at tier-II airports, especially for the government's regional connectivity scheme. He also suggested that along with increased parking bays, AAI should consider providing night landing and round-the-clock air traffic services at smaller airports.

Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia) of aviation consultancy CAPA, noted that by fiscal year 2030, the combined fleet size of Indian airlines is expected to double to 1,400 aircraft. This would require an additional 600-700 aircraft parking bays in the country. Kaul emphasised that while capacity challenges at metro airports are not anticipated until FY30, AAI should prioritize constructing parking bays at airports that align with airlines' operational and commercial requirements.

In FY23, AAI achieved its highest-ever capital expenditure of Rs 51.75 billion , which included projects to expand airport facilities, upgrade technology, and enhance operational efficiency.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is set to enhance air connectivity by adding 160 aircraft parking bays at 27 airports within the next two years. This expansion is aimed at accommodating the growing demand for air travel, particularly as domestic airlines like Air India and IndiGo have placed orders for approximately 1,500 aircraft that will be delivered over the next decade. In the fiscal year 2024, it is projected that domestic airlines will induct around 100 new aircraft.AAI plans to construct 104 parking bays at 16 airports by the end of 2023 and an additional 56 bays at 11 airports in 2024. All these bays will be suitable for Code 'C' type aircraft, ranging from ATR-72 to Airbus A321. Notably, airports with significant domestic passenger traffic such as Amritsar, Goa (Dabolim), Kolkata, and Patna will receive additional aircraft parking bays. Amritsar and Kolkata will see these additions in 2023, while Goa and Patna will get new bays in the following year.Other airports, including Leh, Raipur, and Tirupati, will also benefit from extra parking bays. The expansion at Leh Airport is particularly valuable due to its limited operating window caused by challenging weather conditions. Additionally, this development plan includes airports in Datia and Rewa (both in Madhya Pradesh) and Solapur (Maharashtra), despite the absence of scheduled airline flights at these locations.Ameya Joshi, founder of the aviation blog Network Thoughts, highlighted the significance of capacity additions at tier-II airports, especially for the government's regional connectivity scheme. He also suggested that along with increased parking bays, AAI should consider providing night landing and round-the-clock air traffic services at smaller airports.Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia) of aviation consultancy CAPA, noted that by fiscal year 2030, the combined fleet size of Indian airlines is expected to double to 1,400 aircraft. This would require an additional 600-700 aircraft parking bays in the country. Kaul emphasised that while capacity challenges at metro airports are not anticipated until FY30, AAI should prioritize constructing parking bays at airports that align with airlines' operational and commercial requirements.In FY23, AAI achieved its highest-ever capital expenditure of Rs 51.75 billion , which included projects to expand airport facilities, upgrade technology, and enhance operational efficiency.

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