Rajiv Gandhi International Airport popularly known as Hyderabad International Airport, is a new airport near Shamshabad about 22 km from the city of Hyderabad, in India named after former prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. The airport will replace the current airport, Begumpet Airport. Scheduled to open on 16 March 2008, it is the second public-private partnership in the Indian airport infrastructure sector, the first being the Cochin International Airport.
The new Hyderabad airport is being built by Hyderabad International Airport Limited (HIAL), a public-private joint venture between GMR Group, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and both the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and Airports Authority of India (AAI). GMR Group holds 63% of the equity, MAHB 11%, while the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Airports Authority of India each hold 13%.
The airport, once completed, will be able to provide much-needed infrastructure to handle large aircraft and international traffic. The airport is expected to be the best in the country and will house world-class facilities. The airport is being developed to cater to a total of 12 million a year and will in the final stage be able to cater to 40 million passengers a year. The total cost of the project is Rs 2,300 crore (US$560 million). The airport will be built on an area of 5,400 acres (22 km²).
A Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A320 with 86 journalists, company officials and crew members became the first plane to land at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 15:10 on Tuesday, February 12th 2008 as a part of calibration tests. The A320 was followed by a Jet Airways plane two hours later, arriving from Mumbai.
The airport was inaugurated by Mrs.Sonia Gandhi on March 14th. At the stroke of 12 at midnight on March 15th, the Begumpet airport will fall silent and the new ATC at the Shamshabad Airport will take over. Flights landing at Hyderabad after midnight on March 15th,i.e., the 16th of March, will be informed about the new flight path by the new ATC. The first flight to fly out of India will be Lufthansa. The first International flight to land at the new airport will also be Lufthansa at 12.25 a.m. Munich Airport International, a specialized organization will help in the transfer of operations from the Begumpet airport to the new airport with precision. The Munich Airport International has also helped in transfer of operations of the airport at Athens, Bangkok and Seoul.
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