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Which is the best airport in India?

Last updated on: August 23, 2010 12:02 IST

Which is the best airport in India?

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A few days ago, we asked your opinion on which is the best airport in India currently.

Thousands of you enthusiastically voted for the airport of your choice. Now, the verdict is in!

Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, built by GMR, was overwhelmingly voted as India's best airport, bagging 44 per cent of the votes polled.

The airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru followed in the second, third and fourth spots.

To check out the complete ranking, browse through to the last slide. . . and in case you missed out on casting your vote, you can still do so . . .

The United Kingdom-based Skytrax, a specialist research advisor to the air transport industry, recently named Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport as the best airport in India.

The World Airport Awards are based on the results from 9.8 million questionnaires completed by airline passengers of 100 different nationalities in 2009-2010, covering more than 210 airports worldwide.

The survey evaluates traveller experiences across 39 different airport service and product factors --  from check-in, arrivals, transfer through to departure at the gate.

Here is a list of 11 Indian airports. They are NOT ranked.

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Image: Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at night.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
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Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad

Hyderabad International Airport is located around 25 kms from Hyderabad city.

Built to the capacity of 40 million passengers per annum, the airport is designed to handle New Large Aircrafts, including the Airbus A380.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) is a joint venture company promoted by the GMR Group (63 per cent) in partnership with the Government of India (13 per cent), Government of Andhra Pradesh (13 per cent) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11 per cent).

The airport was commissioned in a record time of 31 months in March 2008 and was renamed Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.

The airport has 13 lounges including the airline lounges being operated by Air India and Kingfisher.

RGIA is the first airport in the world to be awarded the Leadership Energy and Environment Design silver rating for its eco-friendly design.

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Image: Entrance to the airport lobby.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
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Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

Delhi International Airport is a joint venture company; led by Bengaluru-headquartered global infrastructure major GMR Group with a significant pan-India and international presence, Airports Authority of India, Fraport and Malaysian Airport Holdings. It has three terminals.

Terminal 3, a state-of-the-art and integrated terminal, is the world's eighth largest passenger terminal. It occupies 502,000 m (5.4 million sq ft), with a capacity to handle 34 million passengers annually.

T3 has India's first automated parking management and guidance system in a multi level car park, which comprises 7 levels and a capacity of 4,300 cars.

The new Terminal 3 is a two-tier building, with the bottom floor being the arrivals area, and the top being a departures area. This terminal has 168 check-in counters, 78 aerobridges at 48 contact stands, 30 parking bays, 72 immigration counters, 15 X-ray screening areas, for less waiting times, duty-free shops, and other features.

Over 90 per cent of passengers will use this terminal, which was officially inaugurated on July 3, 2010, and there were nine flights to test the operational readiness of the new terminal and its ground handling capabilities.

All international airlines shifted their operations to the new terminal in late July, and all full service domestic carriers will move in later this month.

Terminal 4 and 5 will be built at a later stage.

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Image: Terminal 3 is now open.
Photographs: Courtesy, Indira Gandhi International Airport
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Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, formerly Sahar International Airport, is one of South Asia's busiest airports in terms of passenger traffic.

The airport, with its five operating terminals, spreads over an operational area of 1,450 acres (5.9 km2), is India's and South Asia's largest and most important aviation hub, handling more than 25 million passengers and 533,593 tonnes of cargo.

It along with Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, handles more than half of the air traffic in South Asia.

Formerly called Sahar (international) Airport and Santa Cruz (domestic) Airport, the two airports were merged and renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

In February 2006, Mumbai International Airport Limited, a consortium of GVK Industries Ltd, Airports Company South Africa and Bidvest,was appointed to carry out the modernisation of Mumbai Airport.

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Image: The entrance of the airport.

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Bengaluru International Airport Ltd, Bengaluru

The Bengaluru International Airport is located 40 km north of Bengaluru's central business district and covers 4,000 acres.

It replaced the old HAL Bangalore International Airport.The airport is the fourth busiest airport in India.

Construction of the airport began in July 2005, and started its operations on the night of May 23 2008, just before midnight.

The airport handled about 9.3 million passengers and had air traffic movements of about 280 per day in the year 2009.

The airport is expected to handle 17 million passengers in the year 2015.

The airport is host to 10 domestic airlines and 19 international airlines connecting the city to about 50 destinations across India and the world.

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Image: Passengers waiting to board their planes.

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Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata 

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is located in Dum Dum. Located approximately 17 km from the city centre, the airport handles about 8.5 million passengers annually.

It is a major centre for all flights to North-East India, Bangladesh and Bangkok.

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Image: The departure lounge.

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Chennai International Airport

Chennai International Airport, formerly known as Madras International Airport, is located in Tirusulam, 7 km south of the city centre.

It is one of the largest international gateways into the country, and the second-largest cargo hub in the country, after Mumbai.

The Chennai Airport has been slated for modernisation and expansion.

The works are to be carried out by the Airports Authority of India and include the creation of a parallel runway, taxiways, aprons and new passenger terminal buildings.

It is expected to cost around Rs 2,350 crore (Rs 23.5 billion).

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport handles an average of 150 aircraft per day. Spread over an area of 1,124 acres, the airport is located 8 km from the Ahmedabad Railway Station.

Nearly all domestic airlines serve Ahmedabad, as do several international ones.

The airport currently consists of three terminals: domestic, international and cargo.

The airport got its new international building on July 4, when Union Minister of Civil Aviation Praful Patel inaugurated it.

The new airport terminal is scheduled to be operational from August 15.

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Image: The airport at night.

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Cochin International Airport, Kochi

Cochin International Airport is located at Nedumbassery, near Kochi. The airport is the primary base for Air India Express  operations.

The airport is the first international airport in India incorporated as a public limited company and it received investments from nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries.

The total cost of the airport project was Rs 31,500 crore (about $ 68.5 million).

The airport has a domestic terminal and an international terminal. The ground control is handled by Air India.

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Image: The airport sports an unique architechture.

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Raja Sansi International Airport, Amritsar

Raja Sansi International Airport also known as Guru Ram Das International Airport is 11 km north-west from the city of Amritsar.

The airport currently handles about 90 commercial flights a week, both international and domestic.

It has now completed Phase II of its development. The new integrated terminal building was inaugurated on February 25, 2009.

The building at the Amritsar airport has an area of 40,175 sq metres (approx) compared to 12,770 previously.

It has a peak hour passenger handling capacity of 1,200 and annual handling capacity of 14.6 lakh (1.46 million).

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Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is managed by Airports Authority of India and also serves as Indian Air Force base.

It is named after Gopinath Bordoloi who was a freedom fighter and also the first chief minister of Assam after independence.

The AAI has plans to make this airport a major international airport of India connecting mainly the south east Asia with India.

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Image: The departure lounge at the airport.

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Dabolim Airport, Goa 

Dabolim Airport is the only airport in the state and operates as a civil enclave in a military airbase named INS Hansa
Dabolim's Air traffic control is in the hands of the Indian Navy.

The airport is spread over 688 hectares and consists of a civil enclave of nearly 14 hectares.

The domestic terminal was built in 1983 and is designed to process 350 arrivals and departures simultaneously, while the international terminal built in 1996 is meant for 250.

A new integrated terminal is now under construction. The foundation stone was laid on February 21, 2009.

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