Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad
The city of Hyderabad was given a swanky new airport that was much deserved by this latest emerging software hub. The new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad is located about 30 km from the heart of Hyderabad and it commenced commercial operations in March with the landing of Lufthansa flight LH 753 from Frankfurt. The flight had 276 passengers and crewmembers onboard and all of them were given a grand welcome at the new airport. The GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited is located on a 5,400 acre site and has an ultimate capacity of 50 million passengers per annum. It is also designed to handle New Large Aircrafts including the Airbus A380 and the modular design of the airport will allow incremental expansion of each area. This expansion can take place without major rebuilding or operational disruption.
The Hyderabad airport is also considered to be one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. Due to the rapid liberalization of the Indian aviation policy, the growth in air travel per capita and boom in the tourism sectors has led to requirement of internationally benchmarked airports in different parts of the country. This city is also the natural aviation hub, owing to its strategic location on the map of India. Being connected to all major Indian airports within two hours flying time is probably one of the main advantages of this airport. At international levels also the Hyderabad makes an ideal halt over or transit point for flights from west to east and vice versa. The opening of the airport could not have been more perfectly placed as it takes advantage of the rapidly expanding Indian aviation sector and influencing Hyderabad's strategic location. The new Hyderabad airport is probably going to become an important hub on the global aviation map.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has also become the first green-field airport in India and the second public-private partnership venture in the Indian airports, with Cochin International Airport being the first. This airport is also the hub for Jet Lite, Kingfisher Airlines, SpiceJet and IndiGo Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways and Deccan.