Indian Airlines flight lands at Veer Savarkar International Airport, Post Blair, Andamans

An Indian Airlines flight makes a rather tricky landing at the very rudimentary Veer Savarkar International Airport or Port Blair Airport in Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.

Veer Savarkar International Airport also known as Port Blair Airport, is a customs airport located 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Port Blair and is the main airport of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. It is named after the Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. It operates as a civil enclave, sharing airside facilities with INS Utkrosh of the Indian Navy.

The airport has a single runway of 3,290 m (10,794 ft) in length, accommodating most narrow-body aircraft, that includes Airbus A320, Airbus A321, Boeing 737, which regularly serve Veer Savarkar airport. An ILS is available for low visibility operations, but pilots are responsible to check with local authorities to verify the system is operational prior to the flight. There is a road across the runway; traffic had to be stopped in order for aircraft to take off, similar to the Gibraltar Airport. Restricted Area Permits for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are available on entry.

Except for the civilian terminal operated by the Airports Authority of India, all other air traffic operations over Port Blair are undertaken by the Indian Navy. The geography makes this a difficult airfield for aircraft, as a hillock at one end means that planes can land or take off only in one direction. Winds change here every six months, so pilots have to either take off or land with strong tail winds.

There is only one terminal with 2 gates and no aerobridges. Buses are used to provide transportation from the terminal to the aircraft parked on the apron. In 2009, construction work commenced to expand the apron. By October 2012, up to 7 airplanes could be accommodated on the apron. Heavy rain flooded the airport during May 2008 and halted traffic.

A new terminal building is under construction and is scheduled for commissioning by March 2018. The AAI had initially projected a requirement of 26 acres of land for construction of the new terminal building. The local administration reduced it to almost 19 acres, 10.60 acres of which has been acquired from the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, 4.72 acres is from the Indian Navy, and the remaining 3.39 acres is yet to be acquired.

Source :

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