GUWAHATI, Oct 15 - The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has reduced its land acquisition requirement for expansion of the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here by more than half to 35 acres, a survey for which will soon be undertaken.
The AAI had initially expressed its desire to acquire nearly 75 acres of land for the airport expansion project. The survey would be done jointly by the AAI and the Kamrup district administration. Sources said the 35 acres of land that the AAI has now sought mostly falls under the Palasbari revenue circle.
The acquisition is primarily done to facilitate smooth landing of flights even in the most unfavourable weather condition by the introduction of improved CAT I approach lighting system (ALS) at the Guwahati airport. The new system, according to airport authorities, will reduce the �minima� for pilots, which is used to determine whether they may land under unfavourable condition.
�The acquisition is primarily aimed at installation of more tarmac lights that guide the pilot to establish visual contact with the ground while landing, especially in bad weather,� sources said.
�The AAI recently wrote to us specifying the areas that they intend to acquire. However, we insisted on a joint survey of the land for a clearer understanding,� sources in the Kamrup district administration said.
Sources informed The Assam Tribune that although the State revenue department had considered the AAI�s initial land acquisition demand of 75 acres, it had apprehensions over allotting it keeping in view some of the densely populated villages.
�Once the survey is done, several other issues, including relocation and fixation of compensation, have to be sorted out. This would require support from various government departments, which would take time,� sources added.
�Once the runway is extended, we are confident of introducing CAT II and maybe even CAT III ALS in the Guwahati airport like in Kolkata and other major airports,� sources asserted.
The current terminal at the LGBI airport has a capacity to handle 1,250 passengers (per hour) at the peak hour. Around 75 flights operate from the airport daily.
The present saturated terminal handled 3.8 million passengers in 2016-17, showing an increase of 36 per cent over the previous year. The airport handles 796 movements per week, covering domestic and international destinations.
The integrated terminal building, which is being made at a cost of Rs 1,232 crore, is expected to be completed in another three years� time.