October 20, 2015 (Airportchandigarh.com): After years of anxious waiting, the world-class international terminal located at Jhiurheri, near Mohali opened yesterday. The terminal was inaugurated on September 11 by PM Narendra Modi. The old terminal located at Chandigarh is now permanently closed for passengers and all the domestic flights that were operating at the old terminal have now been shifted to the new terminal.
Around 20 domestic flights are currently operating at the new terminal flying to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Srinagar. The new terminal is now capable of handling near 40 flights per day.
Boarding Flights on the First Day
Some passengers were not even aware that they were required to board their flight from the new terminal and they ended up going to the old terminal. The authorities were prepared at the old terminal to handle such passengers and they were guided about the new terminal. Vehicles were available at the old terminal also as per the local media reports. But reaching the new terminal from the old one is not a short journey. One has to travel several kilometres around Chandigarh via Mohali to reach the new terminal. Another route is via NH 64 through Zirakpur which is also a few kilometres away. Several flights were also delayed adding to the inconvenience of the passengers.
The passengers at the new terminal were excited about the opening of the new terminal having international standards, but they complained about lack of proper transportation. Private cab companies operating at the airport were demanding more than what passengers expected and the CTU bus service was limited on the first day. More buses will be operating soon going to ISBT 17 and 43 and the timings will be based on the flights' timetables. The road leading to the airport is well constructed and received good feedback from the passengers.
No International Flights For Now
Passengers are keenly waiting for international flights to start from the new airport. So far there has not been any confirmed news about it. A few days earlier, media reports mentioned about flights starting from Mohali to Dubai, however this may not happen until December.
The No Name Brand
Several organizations and political parties mainly from Punjab have been demanding to name the airport after the martyr Bhagat Singh. No new name was announced for the new terminal yesterday. The airport is simply known as “Chandigarh Airport” by IATA (International Air Transport Association), the trade association for the world’s airlines while Wikipedia is referring to it as: “Chandigarh International Airport.” The overhead sign on the road leading to the airport reads: “International Airport.” The new terminal’s official name is: “New Civil Air Terminal.”
The new terminal has the capacity to handle 1600 passengers having 48 check in counters, four long conveyer belts (72m), three aerobridges, parking for 500 cars, energy efficient chillers, double insulated roofing system, rain water harvesting and re-use of treated water facilities. The cost of construction of the building was around Rs. 65000 per square metre as per an AAI report.