The new Hyderabad Airport at Shamshabad (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport) is all set to open on March 16. Apollo is setting up a Medical Center at the airport to cater to the medical needs there. Recently there was a disaster drill (which unfortunately had to be aborted) and a visit by Apollo’s senior doctors and management. I’ve got some nice pics of both the visits on my flickr page. Check them out here:
The new airport is one huge thing and unlike anything you would have ever seen in India. The current structure is supposed to be designed to handle 12 million passengers a year (current Hyderabad traffic is around 7 million passengers). When the whole airport is completely built it would be able to handle 40 million passengers a year, but that’s still quite a few years away. They’ve built loads of check in counters and huge baggage claim areas, so I guess long queues should be a thing of the past.
The only problem is the distance of the airport from the city. Currently it’ll take about 1 to 1.5 hours from Banjara Hills to reach the airport. The expressway is going to take ages to be ready. So if you’re planning day-trips to Hyderabad, think twice!!
Update: Right after the inauguration they announced that the new Airport’s launch will be delayed. It seems that the airlines are not ready to tie up with the new ground handling agencies since they are charging a bomb! Well whatever the reason, atleast I’m happy that Begumpet airport is open for a little while longer 🙂