India to get its first runway on sea-bridge at Lakshadweep
India is set to get its first runway on a 'sea-bridge'. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has given its approval to Lakshadweep's Agatti Airport for the same. The airport will be extended by building an RCC platform on the beach and shallow sea. The runway will be extended on this platform. Earlier, the plan was extend the runway by linking two adjacent islands.
The project will cost about Rs. 1,500cr
The island-linking plan was dropped due to environmental concerns. "Now, we will get into the beach and shallow sea, erect pillars there and build an RCC platform on that," an AAI official said. The runway and terminal will be extended on the platform. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 1,500cr. Similar plans were discussed for Juhu and Kullu airports, but not found suitable.
By allowing ATR-72 aircraft, extended terminal will bring down prices
The longer airstrip will bring benefits for Agatti. For one, it will be long enough for the ATR-72 to operate. "At present, only smaller turboprops operate there," said the official. ATR-72 aircraft presently run at Agatti with load penalty and carry a maximum of 50 passengers, pushing up airfare to and from there. The extended airport will help bring fares to affordable levels.