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The Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport at Amritsar achieved a significant milestone by surpassing 3 million (30-lakh) passengers during the fiscal year FY2023-24 that ended on March 31. The analysis of the recent data released by the Airport Authority of India for March 2024 revealed that Amritsar Airport recorded 30,85,598 passengers at the end of FY2023-33 (April 1 to March 31). This marks a growth of 22.6% compared to the previous fiscal year, which recorded 25,16,518 passengers. 

Growth in International and Domestic Traffic 

Of the total footfall, 9,81,405 were international passengers and 21,04,193 were domestic passengers, indicating a 30% increase in international and a 19.5% increase in domestic passengers compared to the previous fiscal year. The data also revealed that Amritsar climbed from 25th position to the 23rd position in terms of the total passenger footfall. The data released by Airport Authority every month includes a total of 40 international and 95 domestic airports.

Expansion of Flights Routes and Connectivity 

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The airport also witnessed an increase in total aircraft movements, increasing from 19,251 to 21,648, a 10.9% increase over the previous year. New international flight routes that started during FY2023-24 included direct flights to Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia X and Malaysia Airlines, London Gatwick by Air India, Rome and Verona in Italy by Neos Air.  

March 2024: Another Record-Breaking Month

In March 2024, the last month of FY2023-24, Amritsar Airport served 2,17,495 domestic and 99,000 international passengers, totaling 3,16,495 passengers, a 22.6% increase compared to March 2023. The data analysis reveals that this is the second highest footfall, the highest recorded was 3,38,512 passengers in December 2023.

 

 

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Current Destinations and Operations

Currently, the airport operates with 6 Indian and 5 foreign carries, connecting to 10 domestic and 9 international destinations including Dubai, Sharjah, Doha, Rome, Milan, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The domestic destinations include Delhi, Mumbai, Kullu, Shimla, Srinagar, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune. It facilitates approximately 65 daily departures and arrivals, with an average daily footfall of 10,000 passengers. A jump into the 3 million category will help the airport attract more airlines. 

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Infrastructure Challenges Amidst Growth

With an annual passenger footfall surpassing 3 million for FY2023-24 and continuing to increase with the addition of more international and domestic flights, the current terminal building urgently requires expansion to accommodate more aircraft, including the functioning of additional aerobridges. With increase in passenger footfall there are now very long queues outside the terminal, Check-in counters, Immigration and security check. 

Transportation Challenges and Advocacy Efforts

Despite this growth over the past few years and several requests being made by the Fly Amritsar Initiative and NGO Amritsar Vikas Manch, the State government continues to ignore the demand of providing bus connectivity with other cities of Punjab. Instead, the Mann Government is promoting and increasing bus connectivity from many cities of Punjab to the Delhi airport.

 

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