Bhopal Airport is likely to be declared Custom Airport by March 2023: Amrit Minj, Director, Raja Bhoj Airport
Indian civil aviation has successfully coped up from the battering of the pandemic and significant improvement in the magnitude of air commuters have given a glimpse of better days ahead. As per the last released data by DGCA, domestic air passenger traffic saw a strong recovery in demand as Indian carriers flew 1.20 crore passengers on the local routes in May, logging nearly five-fold year-on-year volume growth.
Amidst the increased footfall, Indian airports have done an exceptional job by notching up their customer service to the highest degree. Airports Authority of India has recently released ranking of the airports based on their customer service. Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj airport did phenomenal in the parameters like ease of finding your way through the airport, cleanliness of the airport terminal, check-in queue line, connections with the other flights, comfort in the waiting area etc.
In a candid conversation with The Quotes, Amrit Minj, Director of Bhopal Airport shared sone insights about the remarkable work done by the staff and other aspects. Excerpts of the conversation.
Congratulations on being ranked third in terms of customer service amongst 43 airports. Kindly help our readers understand some instrumental steps taken by the airport management which helped the airport soar through.
Thanks a lot for your good wishes. At Bhopal Airport, we are committed to provide world class passenger ambience and amenities to our passengers. We were clear about our vision and inspired our staff to reflect the same in their work. Small things like maintaining hygiene, addressing grievances and resolving it in a stipulated time frame, hassle-free movement and punctuality worked in our favour.
A reported published in Times of India claimed that Raja Bhoj International Airport is devoid of any connectivity. Barring few international flights to Hajj, there is hardly any international flights from the airport. Only two airlines are operating from the Raja Bhoj airport. Things in civil aviation are changing rapidly and government is connecting Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities with Tier 1. How soon can we see things improving for Raja Bhoj International Airport.
Yes, it’s true that civil aviation is a very dynamic sector and is yet to flourish. However, I would like to bring to your notice that Bhopal Airport has regained its pre-pandemic daily passenger footfall. Currently Air India, Indigo and Alliance Air are operating daily flights to eight destinations. Our Terminal Building is equipped with state of the art facilities to handle International operations. Also, a layout plan for the same has been submitted by Bhopal Airport and consent of Immigration and Customs department is awaited. It is expected that the Bhopal Airport will be declared as a Custom Airport by March 2023.
TOI has quoted airport official stating that there is everything in the facility, except airlines. Since the terminal was upgraded in 2011, Bhopal airport has been only connected with eight cities. What was the prime reason behind keeping the city away from vital development? And what are the new flagship connectivity we can expect in the coming time.
In 2019, low-cost carriers Indigo and SpiceJet started their operations from Bhopal Airport and as a result, we saw a steep rise in passenger traffic from Bhopal Airport. Bhopal Airport handled more than 13 lakh passengers in a year. This helped us to break the ceiling. As the pandemic eases, out we are expecting more footfall and new airlines operating from the airport.
Having said that, I would like to state the fact that passenger footfall is dynamic and depends upon many factors like catchment area, train and road connectivity and many other socio-economic factors. All the mentioned factors affect the need of air connectivity in the city.
Civil aviation ministry is on a war-footing in terms of reducing carbon footprint and have already instructed airport officials in the country to draft plans to achieve the same. What are the steps Raja Bhoj International Airport is taking to reduce carbon emission?
Bhopal Airport is well ahead in this task. Carbon Mapping for the airport has been completed and submitted for third party verification. Further, mitigation plan is already in place. We have 1.1MW Solar Power Plant which is operational and the proposal for setting up a 400KW Solar Power Plant is in pipeline to offset Carbon Footprint. Replacement of old lights with efficient lights (LEDs) has been done. As a result, the Contract Demand as compared to 2000kW in 2011 has come down to 1200 kW in 2022. Tree Plantation drives are taken up on regular basis and we are planning to promote the use of Electrical vehicles in the near future.