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The Busiest Airports In India

The Indira Gandhi International Airport that serves the National Capital Region of Delhi, India, is the busiest airport in the country.

The aviation industry in Asia has seen rapid growth over the years, and this has been evident especially in India where the industry has in the recent years has experienced the fastest growth in the world. According to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, India has a projected demand for 1,740 aircrafts over the next two decades while Airbus projects a growth rate of 11% over the next decade in India. India boasts of having 132 airports, but only a few of them handle the majority of the air traffic.

Indira Gandhi International Airport

The Indira Gandhi International Airport is the Indian primary airport and is located in the national’s capital, Delhi. The airport is the largest in the country and is also the busiest both regarding passenger traffic and cargo handling. The facility has a handling capacity of over 40 million passengers. The airport was originally known as the Palam Airport having been built in 1962, and was used by the Indian Air Force for military purposes as an Air Force Station. The airport experienced increased traffic in the 1970s, and there was the need for an additional terminal to decongest the existing one. Terminal 2 was opened in May 1986, and with its opening, the airport was renamed Indira Gandhi International Airport. The terminal had a capacity of handling over 12.5 million passengers annually. However, after several years the airport was getting more passengers than its capacity and needed a new terminal. The latest terminal, Terminal 3 was opened in 2010 and now exclusively handles all international airlines.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the main airport serving the city of Mumbai. The airport is the second busiest airport in India behind the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and can handle 850 aircraft movements per day. Initially known as the RAF Santacruz, the airport is named after the 17th-century historical figure having been constructed in 1942 by the colonial government and was used as an airbase by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. The 1970s saw the aviation industry welcome the “Jumbo Jet era” where Boeing and Airbus built large airliners which made major airports expand to accommodate the gigantic planes. For the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, this meant the opening of new terminals to facilitate this growth in traffic hence commissioned the existing two terminals in the airport.

Global Significance Of Indian Aviation Industry

The Indian aviation industry is the ninth largest in the world and by 2017 the international passengers are forecasted to reach 60. The Indian airports play a key role in the Asian markets and make India the fourth largest aviation market in Asia after the Middle East, Japan, and China respectively. The international traffic is projected to attain a growth rate of more than 10% in the next decade. To ensure the air traffic growth is sustainable, the Indian Government has passed several legislations including the National Civil Aviation Policy in June 2016, which covers many areas in the aviation industry and is viewed as the most important policy associated with the aviation industry.

Which Are The Busiest Airports In India?

RankNameCityStatePassengers H1 2016
1Indira Gandhi International AirportDelhiDelhi26,896,158
2Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International AirportMumbaiMaharashtra23,254,916
3Kempegowda International AirportBengaluruKarnataka10,433,291
4Chennai International AirportChennaiTamil Nadu8,498,582
5Rajiv Gandhi International AirportHyderabadTelangana6,686,420
6Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International AirportKolkataWest Bengal6,661,886
7Cochin International AirportKochiKerala4,267,538
8Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International AirportAhmedabadGujarat3,529,078
9Goa International AirportGoaGoa3,107,383
10Pune International AirportPuneMaharashtra3,030,464

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