Keeping in mind the technological advancement, air travelers consider efficiency and comfort as two key factors in choosing the best airports across the globe. Over the periods of time, there has been a momentous intensification in domestic as well as in international traffic. Consequently, the aviation sector in India has witnessed a thriving rise as compared to the other modes of commutation. Airports are the threshold to a city or a country. Therefore, to elevate the comfort level of air travelers, many airports are constructed in India over time. Few airports are there, which used to be the finest airports years ago, now reached a saturation level. This happened due to lack of advanced air traffic control system and climatic issues.
In India, huge capital is spent every year to uplift the infrastructure of existing airports. As a result, some of the airports in India have established a new benchmark towards the global flyers. For instance, Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai) comes under the top ranked airports in the world with a capacity of handling more than 30-40 million passengers per annum. As per reports, these airports have been very effective in terms of services experienced by day-to-day passengers.
Let us plunge into five most dazzling airports in India that you must step into before taking a fly.
1. Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi)
Popular as IGI Airport, this is the busiest among many other airports in India. With an area of more than 5,000 acres, IGI airport is considered to be the aviation hub for the civilian of National Capital Region of Delhi. Indira Gandhi International Airport is situated in Palam and this has been named after the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. Prior transferring the operational management to the Airports Authority of India, IGIA was operated by Indian Air Force (IAF). Surprisingly, within one year of privatisation, its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ranking reached 101 positions across the world. Over the phase, the airport has successfully bagged number one ranking all over the world. Today, around 80 esteemed airlines serve this airport. Some of the key airlines in this list include Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways, Vistara and Air Asia.
Located around 16 km away from the city, Indira Gandhi International Airport has the following terminals:
- Terminal 1D
- Terminal 1C
- Terminal 3 (International airlines)
- Cargo Terminal
The world’s finest airport has three near-parallel runways with CAT IIIB Instrument Landing System (ILS). The best part of ILS category landing system is that it allows the aircraft to ground with visible range down to 50 meters.
The Inside Conveniences
The moment you step into Delhi Airport, its eye-catching infrastructure and elite facilities will clearly tell you the fact why it is world’s best airport. The Airport Authority knows the requirements of every commuter and accordingly it aims to provide the best possible conveniences to them in terms of shopping, food, lounges, ATM, smoking zone, parking, free Wi-Fi and other valuable services.
The shopping stores of Delhi airport provides you a wide range of apparels, lifestyle products, electronic gadgets, jewellery items, elegant pens, toys, travel accessories, souvenirs and gifts, packet foods, books, wine and spirits.
The world’s best airport also has supreme quality food for you that drives you near the food court on the go. Some of the implausible food corners include casual dining, coffee shop and quick service restaurants.
In order to make your stay seamless before the fly, Indira Gandhi International Airport provides you a relaxing lounge where you can avail the facilities of Sleeping Pod and Spa. Some of these facilities are exclusively brought into practice by the specific airline service providers for their business class passengers. In addition, travel and hotel services, medical care, telecom and foreign exchange, ticket booking counters also add flying colours to this eminent airport.
You can also avail the facilities like one-stop pickup, a complete voyage itinerary, immigration and security assistance, welcome gifts, buggy service and restaurant booking through aiport’s expert concierges.
The best part of experiencing a royal touch of this world class airport is that you will feel the inside conveniences even after your exit. Passengers stepping out from the airport after a pleasant journey, can easily book a cab from the airport premises. Alternatively, they can also go for a shuttle bus (available in every 30 minutes interval), which is operated by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), rail (Palam railway station) or Delhi Airport Metro Express (Orange Line) to commute further.
Winning awards and recognition in global platform has become a regular practice for Indira Gandhi International Airport. In 2015, Delhi airport bagged two most stunning awards as Best Airport Staff in Central Asia/India and the Best Airport in Central Asia/India. And the winning habit did not stop here. In the same year, the airport won the title of the Best Airport in 25-40 million passengers category per annum. Like many other glorious crowns, IGI has also attained the status of carbon neutral in Asia-Pacific, which is merely won by few airports across the globe.
2. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – Mumbai
Mumbai has always been a celebrity hub. Ample of air travelers touch the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai on day-to-day basis. If your recent visit to Delhi Airport have already blew your mind with its astounding services then let me inform you, Mumbai airport is the second busiest airport in India after IGIA. Therefore, your count is still not over choosing the top class airports in India.
Located in Vile Parle, Mumbai, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport opened in 1942, which is operated by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL). This airport was named after the great Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji. With five operating terminals spread over 2,800 acres area, Mumbai airport experiences around 780 aircraft movements a day. In 2014, the airport has set a new benchmark with 51 record movements in an hour. Some of the key airlines in this list include GoAir India, IndiGo, Air India, Jet Airways, Gulf Air, United Airlines etc.
The airport has two terminals namely, T1 and T2. Terminal 1 is specified for domestic passengers. On the other hand, T2 is dedicated for national as well as international commuters.
The new integrated terminal T2, which is brought into operation, considered as country’s first and the most vertical terminal for air commuters. Eye-catching architecture, operational effectiveness and portray of cultural infusion are some of the iconic ingredients of this airport. The brown-filed project of Mumbai airport is one of the unique infrastructural airport projects as compared to other world famed airports. Terminal 2 is the hub of country’s largest public art programme (JAYA HE GVK MUSEUM) where travelers rush to witness its 3.2 km multi-story art wall. Once you step into this heritage area built inside the airport, more than 5000 regional artwork and artefact will grab your attention.
There are two intersecting runways, which are upgraded to Code F. Having a Code F standard runway indicates that the airport has the capacity to accommodate giant aircrafts like Airbus.
The Inside Conveniences
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the most important hub for the passengers travelling from Middle East. Keeping in mind the footfalls of domestic as well international air travelers, the airport authority is incessantly focusing on upgrading its world class infrastructure and conveniences.
Inside airport, you will get to experience some world class cuisine, duty-free stores, spa, lounge, food and beverages, library, business centre, smoking zone, check-in kiosk, Internet, special assistance, banks and ATMs, medical assistance, valet parking, play zone, postal service, smoking zone and many more. However, some of the personalized services are catered as per the ticket categories such as first class, business class and GVK Lounge.
If you are taking an exit from the airport, you can book various cabs from T1 and T2. In addition, you can also choose rental cars. If you are comfortable with public transport, you can get into suburban trains, taxi, bus and auto rickshaw.
The nearby suburban railway stations are Vile Parle (East) and Andheri (East). If you are travelling by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) from T1, you can board at bus no. 312. On the other hand, from T2, bus route no. 321 will be convenient for you to travel till Vile Parle (East). If you take bus route no. 308 from T2, you can commute till Andheri (East) railway station.
However, if you feel like to commute through taxi or auto rickshaw, please do not forget to check the metre.
If you want to accommodate your two or four wheelers in airport locality, CSIA has a well-planned car parking zone for you in both the terminals. You can ask the parking authority regarding the charges, as the same is subject to change. For frequent air commuters, monthly pass is also available.
When it comes to awards and recognition, Mumbai airport has bagged several awards at global platform. In 2008, the airport has won Aeronautical Excellence Airport of the Year from Frost & Sullivan. Moving ahead, in 2011 the airport won world’s third best airport in 25-40 million passengers category. Most importantly in 2016, Mumbai airport was crowned as the Best Airport in India and Central Asia at Skytrax.
3. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport – Hyderabad
Ages back when Hyderabad airport was not able to manage the mounting passenger traffic, the idea of constructing a highly developed airport was included in airport authority’s plan of action. In order to execute their plan into a result-oriented action, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport was constructed in 2008. Located around 20 km south of Hyderabad, Shamshabad, Hyderabad International airport was named after former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. The airport is operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL). Post replacement of Begumpet Airport, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has the capacity to handle around 40 million passengers per year. The emerging trend of global air travelers made Rajiv Gandhi International Airport today as one of the finest airports in India.
Currently, RGIA has single integrated terminal, which handles domestic operations at eastern side and international flights at the western side. Some of key operating airlines in RGIA are Air Costa, British Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo, Air India etc.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has two runways viz; 09L/27R and 09R/27L, which are capable of accommodating world’s largest passenger aircraft i.e. Airbus A340 and Boeing 747.
The Inside Conveniences
The airport caters world class facilities to the passengers including several immigration and check-in counters. RGIA understands the value of passengers. Therefore, it is committed to provide excellent conveniences towards the passengers. Some of the key facilities are:
- Plan your travel: This particular category is designed with the purpose to help the passengers in preparing their travel plan in Hyderabad. It facilitates the passengers by providing separate visa units including visa on arrival, visa extension, visa fees etc. In addition, under this category you also will come know about various restaurants, hotels, tourist spots, booking etc. without stepping outside the airport premises.
- Terminal facilities: Here, you can explore number of premium services related to medi-care, baggage wrap, buggy services, porter services, smoking zone etc.
- Shop and eat: If you wish to give your attire a new look on the go, then you are at the right place. Here, you can purchase various quality apparels, life-style products, jewellery items and many more. Once you are done with your shopping and want to fill-up your starving stomach, there is nothing to worry. RGIA provides you ample of food services available at world famous food chain stores like KFC, Barista, Monsoon Bar & Kitchen and Tiffin Express.
For VIP and business class passengers supreme quality lounges are also available here. In addition, for economical stay, you can also avail the facilities like non-AC rooms, clock room, Internet, conference room, ATMs etc. In order to provide barrier-free access to all the passengers, RGIA provides special assistance services, wherein a group of well-trained staffs helps the passengers making the Wheel Chair, Nappy change rooms and restroom services available for them.
In terms of connectivity, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is well-connected with various parts of the city through Airport Liner buses, rail, taxi, TSRTC (Telangana State Road Transport Corporation)/APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) and car rentals. These are the various modes of commutation to travel between airport and city.
Airport Liner buses covers most of the important routes that connect the city. Depending on the pick-up/drop-point the bus fare may range between Rs.160 to 260 (may differ).
If you wish to take a car on rent, Carzonrent and One Car Rental Services are two key car rental service providers at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. For a luxurious travel, you can also book private cabs at the airport.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has won number of awards for its excellent services. Some of the key awards are:
- Aviation Awards 2014
- National Tourism Award 2011-12
- Best Greenfield Airport 2009
- SKYTRAX – World Airport Awards – 2014
- CII Energy Management Award 2015
- Best Emerging Cargo Airport of the Year 2014
4. Bengaluru International Airport – Bengaluru
Popular as Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore has always been into the lime light being India’s leading Information Technology (IT) exporter. However, when it comes to connect the commuters across the sphere, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) outshines to a great extent.
Situated around 40km north near Devanhalli (spread around 4,000 acres area), Bangalore International Airport Limited is originally recognized as Kempegowda International Airport. Opened in 2008, this world class airport is operated by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL). Today the airport is world’s third busiest airports in India. BIAL has only one terminal managing all domestic and international operations, and it can handle around 20 million passengers per year. Out of many airline service providers, some of the key names are Air Arabia, Air India, Air Mauritius, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Thai Airways International and IndiGo.
During 2012, the runway of Bangalore airport has faced serious difficulties due to its low quality surface. However, over the time the airport authority has entirely resurfaced the airport runway. Today, BIAL has one CAT I, ILS equipped runway 09/27, which is superior in contrast.
The Inside Conveniences
Like any other airports in India, BIAL also gives equal priority to the passengers and their comfort level. In order to cater a safe and comfy experience, the airport has ample of facilities for you. If you step towards T1, level2 (check-in area), you will find a luxurious lounge (Day Hotel). This lounge is designed keeping in mind the requirements of air travellers, who are in need of refreshing shower, soothing Spa and a relaxing space. Food and beverages, magazines, free Internet and TV are some of the additional attributes that you can avail here.
At Bangalore International Airport, you will also be facilitated with several choicest services like retail stores (with world class brands), book store, smoking zone, restaurants and beverage centres. In addition, buggy service and wheel chair are also included under the services offered by BIAL. These services are brought into practice keeping mind about the senior citizens, women, children and physically challenged persons.
Bangalore airport is well-connected with the city through various modes of commutation like private taxi or cab, car rental and airport shuttle service. In addition, you can also travel through local buses run under Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). It is expected that in near future Bangalore Metro Rail will expand its route connectivity. This will add one more feather to the transportation facilities for the commuters.
One of the significant achievements for BIAL was in the year 2011 when the airport was awarded as “India’s best airport”.
Keeping in mind the advancement in its infrastructure, the airport authority is also working on its second phase of expansion covering one more runway and passenger terminal.
5. Chennai International Airport – Chennai
Considered as the major civil aviation hub in South India, Chennai International Airport is the fourth busiest airports in India. With an area of around 1,283 acres, the airport is located at suburban areas of Meenambakkam. Two terminals of Chennai airports, domestic and international terminals are named after former Chief Minister of Tamil nadu K Kamaraj and C N Annadurai respectively. To be more specific about the terminals, the airport comprises of an old and new terminal. The old terminal is situated at Meenambakkam and the new terminal on the other hand situated at Tirusulam.
The airport has a capacity to handle around 15 million passengers annually. In 2012, Chennai airport has witnessed almost 325 aircraft movements in one particular day. The airport is operated under Airport Authority of India (AAI). It is considered as one of the first airport of India, which was opened in 1910. This airport serves as the key hub for Air Carnival, Blue Dart Aviation, Jet Airways and Air Costa.
Currently Chennai airport has one long-primary No 07/25 and long-secondary runway No 12/30. The authority is also working on parallel runways so that pilots can vacate the runway soon after landing without slowing down the speed of aircraft.
The Inside Conveniences
In recent past, Chennai International Airport has accomplished a greater level of evolution in terms of its infrastructure and aircraft movements. As a passenger you can experience numerous facilities on visiting Chennai International Airport. Starting from a foodie to a shopaholic, the Airport Authority provides wide ranges of pleasing services for the air travelers. Quality restaurants and cafes are two important attributes of Chennai airport. For a shopping lover, there are duty-free outlets from where they can purchase various trendy outfits, gift items, books and other lifestyle products.
The Airport Authority also pays attention towards the health care of passengers. Consequently, a pharmacy is established at the domestic terminal. Nevertheless, they have also taken into count the financial requirements of the commuters at the airport premises. This led them to cater different ATM and foreign exchange counters at the airport for the convenience of passengers.
In addition to the aforesaid facilities, you can experience some other facilities as well in Chennai Airport. Some of the additional services are childcare room, lift/escalator, restrooms, Internet access, insurance, spa, car hailer, tourist info etc.
The best part of Chennai airport is that it is quite convenient for the passengers to reach the airport. And it is possible because of the favourable transportation facility, which connects the airport with the city comfortably.
If you wish to scale the distance between airport and your destination by road, you can board at bus number 18A that will reach you to Central Chennai in around 45 minutes. The bus service is frequent and it is available near the exit gate of airport.
You can also hire pre-paid taxis or cabs as per your convenience. It may take around 40 minutes to reach you to Chennai City. You can book the taxi from the counter, which is available near the arrival areas of terminal. In addition, auto rickshaws can also be an alternate way to commute.
Soon, passengers can travel through Chennai Metro which will connect the airport to various parts of Chennai city.
In 2010, Chennai airport was awarded as ‘Airport of the Year’ under cargo handling category. Subsequently, the airport has won the same crown three consecutive years.
These are the five famed airports in India that took Indian aviation hub to a new level in global platform.