The new airport in Hyderabad is about to open in about ten days and there are several opinions on whether the old airport should be closed. As per the official agreement (between Govt. of India and GMR, the builders of the airport) all air traffic in and out of Hyderabad must be from the new airport. But now people raise doubts and issues about that agreement.
My personal view is that the old airport should not be used for any passenger traffic. There are many reasons for believing so.
- Unless you put your weight behind the new infrastructure, you are not letting it take off. A divided option now makes the life of infrastructure providers (airlines, security, ground traffic control, transportation, travel agents and so on) miserable.
- If the reachability of the new airport is an issue, then press the government for better infrastructure. There is a potential to make it well connected. The old airport, being in the middle of the city, has no option to improve its reachability.
- Currently, the city’s road infrastructure gets clogged whenever a VIP arrives at the old airport. Even political people like ministers give a lot of trouble to general public when they travel to old airport. The new airport makes life of a common man better in Secunderabad, Begumpet, Panjagutta and its surroundings.
- Disruptive changes are needed to solve infrastructure problems. The new Imliban bus station in Hyderabad solved several infrastructure problems by moving out of the main city in the past.So would this new airport. People may argue that there are satellite bus stations like Jubiliee, but air traffic management is not as easy as road transportation.
The only issue I see with the new airport is the reliable and on time transportation of people and goods. In reality, the new airport, about 40km from my home, may take less time to reach than the old airport, which is 6km away. The bottlenecks for the old airport are bigger and getting worse by the day. If the transportation infrastructure in inadequate, then we should press the government to make it better. Once you start using the new airport, things should get settled.
Disclaimer: I have no real estate or other financial interests in and around the new airport :-). It is just that I want better quality of life in the city.