Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Mumbai Airport T2

There is hardly anyone who has not complained about the mess of the existing Mumbai airport. Personally, when I had to arrive into the international airport and depart from it made me feel it is a bus stand with a total pathetic look of the airport. I had decided I will never land in Mumbai airport the next time. Those days are just over. A few days ago the new MUMBAI AIRPORT T2 was inaugurated. The size is so huge that 27 football fields can fit into this one 4 storey  building. T2 is the new international terminal and within a year will be an integrated terminal with most of the domestic flights also operating from here.

T2 is definitely larger in size and handling capacity compared to Heathrow Terminal (T5 in London) and Changi's international terminals (T3 in Singapore) while smaller compared to Hyderabad or Delhi's T3.

Number of check-in counters: 188
Number of immigration counters (departure and arrival): 140
Number of customs counters: 10
Number of baggage claim carousels: 10 (too less for this airport !!)
Number of bathrooms: 101
Number of elevators: 73
Number of escalators: 47
Number of moving sidewalks: 41
Number of security check positions: 124

There is a 3 km stretch which is the main highlight of the airport with major artifacts, real exhibits from all parts of India including the famous architecture of Belur, Halebid, wooden paintings of Jaipur and Gujarat,  cave paintings and frescoes of Ajanta and Ellora that culminate a museum inside the airport. Nothing may be more appropriate for visitors and foreigners to get a glimpse of Indian history from across the 4 corners of it in one single place. This is spread across the international terminal and is accessible only for international arrival and departure passengers while passengers walk to/from their boarding gates.

The sad thing would be for those visitors who would appreciate this huge Indian architecture and then all of a sudden see the same old traffic and chaos on Mumbai's streets once they come out for India's cities really lack uniformity in planning -  a fact that everyone knows.

When I looked at the video posted on NDTV for the first time it was more than breathtaking. Apart from the usual airport infrastructure, the whole art murals, art exhibits that adorn the airport make it aesthetically one of the best buildings in modern India. 

While Delhi's T3 does display some of India's art, 
Mumbai takes a leap ahead. 

The main motif of the airport is white peacock and the top part of the pillars project a peacock feather like appearance with white color. There is abundant sunlight that will flow into the airport through small openings and this reflects the white peacock on the floor (nice creativity). This also reduces the power consumption during day light since there is enough light to flow in.

So, even if one's flights get delayed there is so much to see and admire that the wait time may not be that bad at all. It is a classic blend of ancient Indian richness in a modern contemporary building.
There are lot of paintings reflecting famous bollywood actors showcasing Mumbai as Film Hub

The operational efficiency of the airport and the way it is maintained can be judged only with time, but given the private hands I hope there won't be any major complaints. For now the airport will handle only international flights and slowly it will bring all domestic departures/arrivals onto this airport. Hope the transition is smooth, fast and efficient otherwise it will make it extremely inconvenient for passengers.

The parking capacity is 5200 cars which may still be less compared to the huge traffic the airport must handle. There is a dedicated 6 lane expressway to connect to the new airport which is good.
(All Pics Courtesy Skyscrapercity.)

One of the things that has been considered is the travelling distance between the actual departure point and entry point. It is relatively less compared to the Delhi's T3 which has been a pretty frequent complaint. 

Note: Only by 2015 both the domestic and international will be handled in this same new building. 

One of the things the UPA government has achieved in infrastructure is the overall revamp of airports in all major and second tier cities. I still wait for the day when our railways and railway stations will see such a huge push for revamp.

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