Hollongi Greenfield airport will be strategically important, will ease the relief activities during natural calamities: Sanmukh Jugani, Regional Executive Director, North East Region, AAI
The Hollongi Greenfield airport near Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar, built in an area of 685 acres at the estimated cost of Rs. 645 crores, will act as gateway to Arunachal Pradesh. Energy efficient facility has also been granted Instrument Flight Rules and will also be accessible for night landings as it is being equipped with homing, and landing aides like VOR, and ILS.
The airport was earlier scheduled to be inaugurated on August 15 to mark India’s 75th Independence Day but has been postponed due to non-receipt of flight schedule from DGCA. Hollongi is about 15 km from Itanagar and at present, there is no airport in the vicinity of the state capital. The closest airport is Lilabari Airport in Assam’s North Lakhimpur district at a distance of 80 km. Developed by Airports Authority of India, the airport will be the first in the state with a runway of 2,300 metres, will be the first airport to accommodate A-320/ B-737 types of aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh.
In a candid conversation with The Quotes, Mr. Sanmukh Jugani, Regional Executive Director of the Airport Authority of India, North East Region shared about the significance of the airport in the region and open up on how the airport will be a game changer in the state. Excerpts of the conversation.
Q: Foremost congratulations on delivering the Hollongi Greenfield airport before scheduled time frame. We all understand that the establishment of facility will enhance the tourism and movement of people in the area. After closely observing the local area and being aware of the geographical conditions, kindly let our pan India readers understand the significance of the airport in Arunachal Pradesh.
Hollongi Airport will be first of its kind in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, the largest state of North East India, in terms of capacity and facilities. It full fills the long-awaited aspiration of people of Arunachal Pradesh to get the capital city connected by air to other cities of the country. It will act as a primary gateway to the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Greenfield airport will also be the first airport to accommodate A-320/ B-737 types of aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh which have carrying capacity of handling about 180 passengers.
It will cater to the needs of State capital Itanagar, bordering areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh as a whole, considering the trade, tourism potential and better connectivity. It is strategically important, will boost economic development of the region and in case of any natural calamities, it will be of great help in providing relief in affected areas much faster. It is equipped with Instrument Landing System (ILS) of CAT-I and night landing facilities to operate in low visibility. Met observation centre is also there to assist flight operations.
Q: As per information available on internet, earlier the completion target was November, this year. Later, it was rescheduled. Please let us understand what led to the completion of such a complex project prior to its schedule.
The work for development of air side infrastructure of the airport was originally scheduled to be completed in August 2022. Later on, considering the impact of Covid and lock down, the completion target was rescheduled to Nov. 2022. However, collective efforts made by AAI, State Government and Work Executing Agency made it possible to finish majority work as per original schedule overcoming the effect Covid and other hindrances.
It was really a big challenge considering the issues of diversion of Kokila River, heavy rains of long durations and problems related to connectivity and materials availability in the area.
A permanent gang of skilled and unskilled labours deployed by agency at site, ground improvement through dynamic compaction by engaging 5 to 6 sets of cranes with ponder, co-operation extended by State govt. during Covid time by issuing special passes and establishing vaccination camp at site for labour, are the major contributors in the success. Apart from about deployment of modern machinery, two concrete plants, stone crasher at site, and arranging resources at site in advance before onset of rains also helped.
Q: Under UDAN scheme, government has vowed to connect rural India with cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Dozens of flagship projects are already close to its competition and soon we will see significant upgradation in terms of air connectivity. Kindly let us know about the connectivity of Hollongi Greenfield Airport.
As the airport will act as gateway to Arunachal Pradesh, Hollongi Airport may get some regional airlines which will connect remote locations in the state as well as the North East Region, which will enable Intra-State Connectivity. Under RCS- UDAN scheme, over 70 new destinations and 400 routes have been operationalized by the Govt. in last 5-6years, we are hopeful that Hollongi will also be covered under this scheme, which will attract airlines to operate flights here.
Q: Reports have suggested that airport will be the first in the state with a runway of 2,300metres, accessible for the landing and take-off of Boeing 737. The airport is reportedly equipped with all the modern facilities for passengers. Kindly mention some of the important facilities which passengers will be able to enjoy at Hollongi airport.
Presently, an Interim Terminal building has been constructed in 2000 sqm area apart from large canopy on city and air side. It has tensile fabric roofing canopy of 1500 sqm and glass façade. It is equipped with four check-in counters and baggage conveyer belts, 200 trolleys and 100 nos. of 3- seater chairs.
The terminal building is fully air-conditioned and has all passenger facilities like Child care room, Food & Beverage stall, separate and friendly toilets for persons with disabilities. Passenger will have pleasing experience here.
There are three parking bays for A-320/ B-737 type of aircrafts, connecting runway with two linked taxiways, 100 car parking slots with public amenities, a four-lane approach road to the airport from the NH-415. Apart from above provision of CAT-I Instrument Landing System along with ground lights and approach light, will enable the airport for night landing and all-weather operations.
Q: We have seen several airports taking vital steps towards green energy. Even, government has also expressed its seriousness towards achieving net-zero emission before 2030. Reports have suggested that terminal at Hollongi Airport will be energy-efficient with a rainwater harvesting system and sustainable landscape. Kind shed some light on the future projects related to green energy at Hollongi airport.
Good nos. of measures have been taken to make the new terminal building, an energy efficient building. Use of LED lights at all places, use of energy efficient motor/drives for AHUs, A.C compressor, conveyors, pumps etc. Sewage treatment plant which will allow use of treated water for horticulture apart from preventing pollution of water bodies.
The building`s envelope is influenced by the surrounding landscapes. It has insulated roofing, glass façade and wall panels to reduce power consumption. It has balanced proportion of glass façade and wall panels to optimize power consumption. Initially A solar power plant of 150Kwp is planned to generate clean energy for the airport and reduce carbon footprint. The building will comply with GRIHA-IV norms, which itself is a certificate of energy efficient building.
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