Civil Aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal’s visit puts Surat airport officials on high alert


Surat Airport
Surat (Gujarat) [India]: Surat airport officials were on high alert after Rajiv Bansal, secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, arrived on Saturday evening.

Bansal’s surprise visit to the Surat airport is being interpreted as a wake-up call for the airport’s authorities in light of the ongoing infrastructure works worth Rs 353 crore, the foundation stone for which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and which include the expansion of the terminal building, apron, and Parallel Taxi Track (PTT) at the airport.

The infrastructure projects at Surat airport is being delayed due to ridiculous and illogical reasons from the contractor company. The contractor has stated in his letter to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) that his workers have left the construction site because the newly inducted CISF security force is not allowing anyone to carry mobile devices on the airside of the construction site. Also, the contractor stated that the specialised machinery required for PTT construction is unavailable and will take time to obtain.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Rs. 353 worth of holistic development of Surat airport on January 30, 2019. The target date of completion of the infrastructural works at the airport was set for January 1, 2021. However, the project was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic to January 1, 2022.

Sanjeev Kumar, chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), during his visit to the Surat airport in May, held rounds of discussions and meetings, particularly with the contractors regarding the status of the PTT and apron work. Kumar was furious after inspecting the project work, which was moving at a snail’s pace.

Bansal visited the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) at Khajod as part of his visit to Surat.

When contacted Surat airport director, Aman Saini said, “Civil Aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal is in Surat. I am with him at SBD and can’t talk much”