Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, also known as Hyderabad International Airport, is located on 5,500 acres near Shamshabad approximately 30 km from Hyderabad, and opened for business on 23 March 2008. The new airport replaces the current Hyderabad airport, Begumpet Airport, and will provide world-class international airport facilities. It will have the longest runway (4.26 km) in India and will be able to handle the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380. Hyderabad, March 29 Grappling with initial glitches and stating that efforts were on to overcome them, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Shamshabad, said it was averaging about 18,500 passengers every day. In its review of performance for the first five days, the airport developer, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), said since operations began from 00.01 hrs on March 23, it had handled around 15,000 international and 78,000 domestic passengers.
Air traffic On the air traffic, it said the total Air Traffic Movement (ATMs) in that period was around 1,500 (750 aircraft arriving and 750 departing from the new international airport). ATM is defined as one-round movement of an aircraft landing and taking off. The performance of check-in, baggage handling, and fuel farm systems has been steadily improving. On the domestic passengers front, the average time taken for the first baggage is around 11-14 min and last baggage is around 18-36 min, it claimed in a press release. While GHIAL has been putting in place facilities to reach passengers to the airport, connectivity issues still continue to dog the people, with complaints rising. Also, the initial impact has been felt in the short haul routes and low-cost airlines, where passenger flows have registered a fall. The GHIAL release said about 30 AC buses being run from four locations in the city with a charge of Rs 95 per passenger were getting a positive response from the public. Plans were on to increase both the number of buses and locations in the coming days.
In addition to this, about 700 Radio Taxis operated by Meru and Easy Cabs with fixed charges of Rs 15 per km were pressed into service. When fully operational Fab City will supply US$4-$5 million worth of chips to the international and domestic market every day and proximity to an international airport was a very important consideration when reviewing suitable sites for Fab City. In its initial phase (2008) the airport will have a capacity of 5 million passengers and will finally (2018) accommodate 20 million passengers annually. The new outer-ring-road will link the airport to the center of Hyderabad providing an express route into the city. The new airport was built by Hyderabad International Airport Limited (HIAL), a partnership between the GMR Group (63%, an Indian construction/infrastructure group), Malaysian Airport Holdings Berhad (11%), Airports Authority of India (13%, representing the Central Government), and the Andhra Pradesh State Government (13%).