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From The Editor's Desk - Thirteenth Issue, March 2008

Indian Aviation saw another new beginning on the 14th of March this year when Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance, Smt. Gandhi inaugurated the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, India’s first Greenfield International Airport. This Airport in Shamshabad, about 25kms. from the city of Hyderabad was built under Public Private Partnership model. The Airport is managed by a joint venture promoted by GMR Infrastructure Ltd.63% , AAI 13% ,Government of Andhra Pradesh State 13% and Malaysian Airports Holding Berhad 11%. It was developed to provide a World Class International Airport spread over 5500 acres, with an inbuilt capacity to handle 12 million passengers per annum. It has already received Certification clearance for Aerodrome Licence from the DGCA and Environmental Clearances from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and also clearance from the Govt. as notified customs zone.

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On the 24th March 2008,the first civil aircraft carrying a passenger load of 276 made its first commercial landing at this brand new Hyderabad Airport to celebrate the occasion. All the passengers were given a rousing welcome on arrival. With this the 76 year old Begumpet Airport located in the centre of Hyderabad became closed to commercial civil aircraft operations.

This State of the Art Airport project will create at least half a million direct and indirect job opportunities and will be a major contributor to the development of the entire state of Andhra Pradesh in India.

Airports today are gateways to not only link the globe but engines to drive the economic growth of the Nation. In today’s time with more and more people opting for the safest, swiftest mode of travel, that is the air travel, the need is there to explore possibilities for more and more low cost solutions in Airport Projects. Perhaps Regional low Cost Airports with the participation of Private and State Government can be built for the regional low cost passenger and operated by low cost carriers.

With a booming Indian Economy and Indian Enterprise the time has come for more and more experimentations in the Indian Aviation Arena to create more and better aviation opportunities which are mass based, revamping the old, reviewing the facilities in hand for the sake of providing better customer services. Perhaps tomorrow like our own Made In India NANO car which took the world by a storm, it could be a Made In India NANO Airport making a toast to future.

Hail Aviation India! What better time than now! We are all waiting… see you climbing Skywards....

Aryama Sanyal