Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in the temple town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, the first IndiGo flight bound for the new airport took off from Delhi on Saturday afternoon. In a video shared by news agency ANI, IndiGo pilot Ashutosh Shekhar welcomed all the passengers onboard the flight.
“I am fortunate that IndiGo gave me the opportunity to command a flight of this significance…We hope your journey will be good and happy. We will give you more updates. Jai Shri Ram,” the pilot said. This was followed by ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chants by the passengers.
PM Modi arrived in Ayodhya on Saturday morning to inaugurate a slew of projects across the holy city, just days before the Ram temple's consecration ceremony on January 22. Apart from the new airport, Modi also launched the redeveloped Ayodhya railway station, flagged off two Amrit Bharat and six Vande Bharat trains, and inaugurated developmental projects worth ₹15,700 crore.
All about the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya
The phase one of the state-of-the-art new Ayodhya Airport is developed at a cost of over ₹1,450 crore. The airport’s terminal building will have an area of 6500 sqm, equipped to serve about 10 lakh passengers annually, while the facade of the building depicts the temple architecture of the upcoming Ram temple.
According to an official release, the interiors of the terminal building are decorated with local art, paintings, and murals depicting the life of Lord Ram. The terminal building of the Ayodhya airport is also equipped with several sustainability features, such as an insulated roofing system, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting, landscaping with fountains, a water treatment plant, a sewage treatment plant, a solar power plant, and many other such features have been provided to meet GRIHA - 5-star ratings.
The airport has a 2,200-metre-long and 45-metre-wide runway which can handle landing and take-off of Airbus A320, ATR-72, and Bombardier private jets in the first phase. Meanwhile, in the second phase, the airport will be opened for international flights with the expansion of the runway to 3,200 meters.
The airport is set to improve connectivity in the region, leading to a boost in tourism, business activities, and employment opportunities, the official release said.