CHANDIGARH: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has put Chandigarh airport on the top, both in terms of growth and keeping flyers happy. Despite not being allowed to operate night flights, the airport has touched the magic figure of 10 lakh passengers in 2013-1014 for the first time, showing a growth of 1.68 lakh passengers over the previous year.
In 2012-13, the airport had handled 88,1555 passengers, which has now reached 10,50,397. The 19.2% increase in one year is significantly high and only underlines the potential of the airport in handling more rush.
The figures show that the airport witnessed the third highest growth in air passengers in a year after Dehradun and Udaipur. While Dehradun witnessed a 29.9 % growth, Udaipur remained second with 20.7 % growth. In 2006, around 1.5 lakh passengers had used the Chandigarh airport. Today, the rush is seven times more.
The icing on the cake has come in the form of a recent survey on customer satisfaction among small airports carried out by AAI in the period between January and June 2014. It has put the city airport among toppers.
Fifty-three airports of the country were surveyed on a scale of five and Chandigarh got the second highest rating of 4.65 points. Jodhpur took the top slot with 4.71 points. Satisfaction was assessed in terms of availability of parking, courtesy, helpfulness of the airport staff, waiting time at inspection, ambiance of airport and speed of baggage delivery service.
At present, the city airport handles around 15 flights daily and connected to various destinations including, Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu, Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Bengalore, Indore and Calcutta.
Declared as ‘customs airport,’ the state of art terminal has the capacity to accommodate 500 passengers. Maximum flow of movement of passengers from the city is for Delhi and Mumbai. Considering the increasing demand for these two destinations, some airlines have even introduced larger aircrafts.