Flying High: Indore's Devi Ahilyabai Airport Achieves 20 Years Passenger Movement Capacity In 10 Yrs 

Flying High: Indore's Devi Ahilyabai Airport Achieves 20 Years Passenger Movement Capacity In 10 Yrs 

Passenger movement growth close to 70% in last 2 years. Airport Authority of India (AAI) gearing-up to expand passenger and flight movements’ capacity.

Manish UpadhyayUpdated: Sunday, February 25, 2024, 08:29 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport of the city, which is the busiest as well as the only international airport of the State, is flying high in terms of passenger as well as flight movement. A new terminal building of the airport was built in 2012 with a capacity of 32 lakh passengers annually looking at the need of next 20 to 30 years, but this capacity has been fully utilised by November 2023, in just 10 years.

Now, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is gearing-up to build one more terminal building and expand the length of the runway.  The location for the construction of the airport was selected in 1935 and commercial operation of flights started in 1948. In 90 years since then, the movement of passengers from the airport has been continuously rising as the airport located in the commercial capital of the State has succeeded in attracting more and more passengers not only from the city but also from nearby cities of the state as well as bordering cities of Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

Resultantly, in just 7 years after the operation of the flights from the new terminal building started a record 31.36 lakh passengers travelled from here in 2019. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic put an end to this surge in passenger traffic as flight operations had to be shut down.  In the post-Covid era, DABH airport witnessed an unprecedented increase in the movement of passengers.

MP Shankar Lalwani

MP Shankar Lalwani |

As per the official data of AAI, when the Covid pandemic curbs were relaxed in 2020-21 just 8.96 lakh passengers chose to travel from the airport. But in 2021-22 the passenger movement rose by 86% in comparison to the previous FY to 16.63 lakh. In the next FY 2022-23, passenger movement rose by 67.76% to 27.90 lakh in comparison to the previous FY.

Thereafter, in just 10 months between January 2023 and November 2023, a record 32,01,743 passengers have travelled from the airport. Currently, 86 flights including 3 international flights for Sharjah and Dubai are being operated from the airport. Now facilities are being developed to facilitate an increase in the number of flights from here.  A proposal for major expansion of the airport has been sent to AAI Headquarters’ an official informed. 

Financial year  Passengers Movement

2018-19 31.36 

2019-20 29.06

2020-21 8.96

2021-22 16.63

2022-23 27.90

*The passenger movement figures are in lakh.

*Figures from AAI. 

One more terminal being planned

A plan to construct one more terminal building has been drawn. It will be built in place of the existing ATC and fire station. A plan has been made to divert the movement of international passengers and the passengers of ATR aircraft to the old terminal building till such time that the new construction is complete. Plan for extension of runway is also underway.  -MP Shankar Lalwani, Chairman of Airport Advisory Committee of DABH Airport  The city airport has huge potential for expansion of domestic as well as international air services. But as it has reached its peak in terms of passenger movement capacity, thus there is a strong need to cater to the growing demand of domestic as well as international passengers. 

-TK Jose, MD of Jose Travels 

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