The airport in Ahmednagar is going to make it easy for pilgrims to commute.
The much-awaited airport near the temple-town of Shirdi near Ahmednagar is expected to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister by July end, according to an Indian Express report.
This airport, partly funded by Saibaba Sansthan Trust, is a good news for Saibaba devotees as it is going to cut down Mumbai to Shirdi travel time to 40 minutes. By train or road the 238 km long trip generally takes more than 5 hours.
The airport, situated 14 kms from Shirdi, would initially have the traffic of four flights a day according to Suresh Kakani, the vice-chairman and MD of Mahrashtra Airport Development Company (MADC). He is also expecting 700-800 passengers flying in and out daily, Kakani told Indian Express.
This is the first airport project by MADC which is responsible for operating it as well. The airport will be connected to major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Visakhapatnam as per the agency.
The authorities were planning to start international flights to Shirdi by October ahead of the festivities as lot of foreign tourists and pilgrims go there, Vishwas M. Patil, the chairman of MADC, told Times of India.
The airport, which took seven years to materialize, has a 2,500 metre long runway, a terminal building, ATC tower and four watchtowers among other things.
Sanctioned in 2010 to promote religious tourism, the airport is yet to have some crucial things in place. It still does not have the following: Operating license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), permanent water connection and source of power, food-supply resources, etc.Plans of extending the runway, four hangars for private jets, etc. are also in store.