Construction Week|May 2020
The plans are ambitious. However, it is not easy. One of the most financially draining and complex projects are construction and renovation of airports. Yet the government has announced plans to construct 100 airports by 2024 to aid the UDAN scheme. That was before Covid-19 hit the world.
Now even existing airports are barely functioning, unless they are carrying emergency supplies. But the fact remains that a growing urban population demands that more airports be built and expanded so as to accommodate larger number of fliers.
In order to better understand the nuances of airports, Construction Week organised a webinar to highlight some key takeaways that need to be remembered for building or renovating or expanding airports. Our panellists comprised:
• Chintan Shukla, VP, project planning and design and head of design, GVK Airports
• K Ranjan, head of quality, L&T Construction (Chennai Airport)
• Umashankar, head of quality, L&T Construction (Delhi Airport)
• H Ravikumar, AVP and regional head, Chennai, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C
• Jairam Panch, VP, and MD, Turner Project Management India
GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME
Most cities in India have one airport. While that is not enough for the metros, the smaller cities make do, even though they might complain about over-crowding. Airports are long gestation projects. Much has changed since the time airports were constructed in India since the 40s and 50s. Chintan Shukla of GVK Airports says, “Earlier airports were constructed mainly for efficiency in processes like baggage handling, check in, security, immigration, etc. The design was made to get the most optimal efficiency out of it. It was only with global exposure that people started having more expectations. Getting the best experience was a goal that passengers demanded. Also, they want this at the least price.”
Expounding on this, Umashankar of L&T Construction said, “Design has to appeal to the stakeholders, and today this spectrum has gone very wide. Design is lasting and must be available to all parties before and years after the project too.”
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