On September 26, regional airline Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India landed its 72-seater ATR 72-600 aircraft at 1700 at Shirdi Airport. The trial flight took off from Mumbai at 1615.
Shirdi is a temple town in western Maharashtra and receives around 25,000 pilgrims a day, on an average.
The recently constructed Shirdi Airport will be inaugurated on October 1 and flights are scheduled to operate from Shirdi on October 29. However, airport officials have requested to prepone the operational date to coincide with Shirdi’s revered idol, Sai Baba’s centenary celebrations.
Once operational, Shirdi Airport will receive four flights from Mumbai, and one each from Delhi and Hyderabad per day.
Apart from Alliance Air, it has been confirmed that regional carriers, TruJet and Zoom Air will serve the airport.
The ₹350 crore project has a 2,500-metre by 45-metre runway that can handle an A320 aircraft, as well as a 207 sqm terminal building with basic facilities such as seating, toilets, charging points and parking.
Phase II of the project involves expanding the capacity of the terminal to 4,000 sqm to handle 150 passengers in the arrival and departure areas per hour.
Currently, only commercial airlines have permission to operate out of Shirdi Airport. The licence for use by private jets is pending with India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.