2.     PROJECT DESCRIPTION

2.1 Introduction

Lakshadweep is the tiniest Union Territory of India and is its only coral island chain. This archipelago consists of 36 islands, 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. The islands have a total area of 32 sq.kms and the lagoons enclosed by the atolls cover an area of 4200 sq.kms. Its territorial waters extend to 20,000 sq.kms and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to 4,00,000 sq.kms. Only 10 of these islands namely, Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy are inhabited. Kavaratti is the Administrative Headquarters of the Union Territory. The islands are restricted area and permit from the Administration is required to visit the islands. The density of population varies from 500-2500 persons / sqkm and island is easily aceessible by air and sea from India. It lies between 80 - 120 13' North latitude and 710 - 740 east longitude at a distance of 400km from Malabar Coast.

Agatti Island occasionally called "Agathy" is a 7 km (4 1/2 mi) long island, situated about 459 km (285 mi) off Kochi India. Its total land area is approximately 2.7 km² (1 sq mi). Its population as per the last census was 5667. It is surrounded on all sides by a coral reef. Agatti island is situated between 10o49'01.69” and 10o49'46.99”North 72o10' 16.28” and 72010'48.25 East. Kalpatti another island close to Agatti Island in the South West direction is uninhabited is at a distance of 350 metre. Fig 2.1 shows the location of Agatti Island viz a viz Kalpatti island

Figure 2.1: Location of Agatti and Kalpatti Islands

     

                                                                                               

2.2        Connectivity

From 1956 to 1962 there was no ship nor any mechanized vessels operating between the Islands and mainland to carry even the local passengers. It was in the year 1962 that a small ship 'M.V. Sea fox' having a capacity to carry just 12 pax was introduced. In the year 1974 a full fledged all-weather ship M.V. Amindivi, joined the fleet changed the very face of journey in the Islands. This was the first all weather ship and was a great relief that prior to Amindivi very small ships including M.V. Laccadives having capacity to carry 47 pax was not sufficient for the movement of passengers. The coming of Amindivi and two all weather ships M.V. Bharatseema and M.V. TipuSultan during 1988 created a favourable condition for the movement of tourists. Two small ships M.V. Minicoy & M.V. Amindivi joined the fleet recently has helped the movement of tourists further. The Ship connectivity is not regular either due to bad weather or requirement of maintenance of ship due to old age of ships.

 

2.3        Agatti Airport

Agatti Airport is the only airport in Lakshadweep situated on the Agatti Island between North latitude and South latitude at an elevation which varies from 10feet to 15 feet above Mean Sea Level of about. Agatti Airport runway 04/22, 1204M X 30 M, was constructed during 1987-88 for the Avro/ Dornier type of aircrafts of capacity 20 pax and inaugurated on 16 April 1988. Earlier only a small temporary structure for terminal building was made. Fig. 2.2 A and Fig. 2.2 B shows the Airport.

      

Fig. 2.2 A: Agatti Airport Building                            Fig. 2.2 B: Airport Arrival Hall

Agati Airport was constructed during 1987-88 for Avro/ Dornier type of aircrafts and inaugurated on 16 April 1988. The runway orientation is 04/22 & dimension 1204M X 30M, with 7.5 m shoulder on both sides. The threshold for Runway 22 is displaced by 103M due to obstructions such as trees and structures in the approach path. Initially, only a small temporary structure for terminal building was constructed. Subsequently, in 21.02.2003, AA & ES was accorded, for the construction of Terminal Building, Technical Block cum Control Tower and Fire Station at Agatti for Rs.538.91 lakhs. The implementation of the said work commenced in 2006.However, the construction work for the Terminal Building had to be stopped midway due to the proposed extension of Runway & Basic strip. Due to land constraints at Agatti, the basic strip does not meet the DGCA CAR criteria for Licensing and since there is no apron the undershoot area of runway 22 is being used for aircraft parking. The existing Terminal Building and Technical Block cum Control Tower and Fire Station are falling in the proposed basic strip and will need to be demolished to meet the ICAO/DGCA CAR and licensing requirements.

To conform to DGCA CAR and licensing requirements, the basic strip on either side of the runway needs to be provided and the runway needs to be extended, to accommodate ATR type of aircraft operations, without load penalty. In addition, an apron for proper parking, a terminal building, as per IMG norms, a suitably located ATC cum Technical Block, Fire Station and Electrical Sub-Station are also required to be constructed.

Present Operations  

Presently two flights of ATR 72 with load penalty operate through Agatti Airport and helicopter service from Agatti to Kavratti and few chartered flights. (Movement of Passengers)  

Existing Features

Presently Agatti Airport at Agatti Island has following features as given in Table 2.1 below, Fig. 2.3 shows the features on grid and Fig. 2.4 A, to 2.4 F shows different existing components. The Agatti Airport is connected by 2.5 m wide road from Agatti.

Table 2.1 : Existing Features of Agatti Airport

S.No

DESCRIPTION

Length / Width AREA (M/M/Sqm)

REMARKS

1

Runway

1204 x 30

Oriented at 04/24, 037030' / 217030'.

2

Shoulders

7.5 m wide

 

3

Helipad

 

 

TERMINAL BUILDING

4

Departure Hall

386 sqm

Single Storey

5

Arrival Hall including VIP Room, Checking room, Security room

310 sqm

Single Storey

6

Fire Station

262 sqm

2 Fire Tenders of Capacity

7

Technical Block cum Air Traffic Control

240 sqm

Ground + First Floor

8

Sub station

168 sqm

 

9

Fire Incharge Room

  25 sqm

 

10

NDV

13 sqm

Navigational aid

11

DSCN

14 sqm

Communication aid

12

Power House

44 sqm

 

13

Gagan building

1463 sqm

Sattelite Antennae receiver

14

Staff Quarter

2010 sqm

 

 

      

    Fig. 2.4 A: Areal view of Airport                             Fig. 2.4 B: Air strip and Shoulders

     

  Fig. 2.4 C: Helipad at Agatti Airport                            Fig. 2.4 D: Fire Station

     

     Fig. 2.4 E: Power House                                    Fig. 2.4 F: NDV & DSCN Tower

 

 

Fig. 2.3 : Grid map of Agatti Airport

 

2.4        TRAFFIC PROJECTIONS

The following is the traffic projections for Agatti Airport as estimated by Airport Authority of India (Table 2.2).

Table 2.2 : Traffic Forecast Agatti  Airport

Year

Domestic Traffic

Aircraft   (in Nos.)

Pax          (in Nos.)

Cargo      (in M)

2009-10

(Base Year)

2112

27533

49

Growth Rate

18.0%

20.0%

10.0%

2010-11

2492

33040

54

2011-12

2941

39648

59

Growth Rate

13.0%

15.0%

12.0%

2012-13

3323

45595

66

2013-14

3755

52434

74

2014-15

4243

60299

83

2015-16

4795

69344

93

2016-17

5418

79745

104

Growth Rate

8.0%

10.0%

12.0%

2017-18

5852

87720

117

2018-19

6320

96492

131

2019-20

6825

106141

147

2020-21

7371

116755

164

2021-22

7961

128431

184

Source: AAI

2.5        JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROJECT

The project is justified because of following reasons

(i)         The Existing Airports are required to obtain licensces from Director General Civil Aviation for operations.  As per norms, length of Runway at Agatti for ATR-72-500 requires 1540 mts without load penalty. The basic strip required for VFR (Visual Flight Rule) operation of aircraft is 150 mts. No construction or obstruction is allowed in the basic strip of 150 mts. However existing airport has runway length of 1204m and basic strip of varying width from 68 metres to 110 m without RESA. and has terminal building and ATC tower in the basic strip , these all features make it unsafe for passengers and Aircrafts. 

(ii)        To conform to DGCA CAR and licensing requirements, the basic strip on either side of the runway needs to be provided and the runway needs to be extended, to accommodate ATR type of aircraft operations, without load penalty. In addition, an apron for proper parking, a terminal building, as per IMG norms, a suitably located ATC cum Technical Block, Fire Station and Electrical Sub-Station are also required to be constructed.

(iii)       To provide all weather connectivity to Lakshadweep as ship connectivity is erratic, Presently the Air fare is on higher side as the ATR – 72 Aircrafts are running with load penalty and carrying only maximum of 50 passengers with 15 kg of luggage against 65 passengers with max luggage of 15 Kg and no provision of paid luggage. The new improved airport will help in bringing the fares to affordable level.

(iv)       Safety Concerns, the international navigation route from Africa to Sri lanka and South East Asia is passing very near to the Lakshadweep islands and is the only Airport off west coast. This will help in containing the terror of Sea pirates, taking care of Maldives like situation where it was attacked by terrorists and increasing the safety and security of islands.

(v)       The Lakshadweep is the only Coral islands of the India and has got huge potential for International and Domestic Tourism. Govt of Lakshadweep is trying to promote tourism as it is the only major source of earning for the Govt. of Lakshadweep and people of Lakshadweep.

(vi)      Increasing the GDP of Lakshadweep by increasing the tourist both national and international and export of Tuna fish.

2.6        PROPOSED INTERVENTIONS

The resurfacing of the existing runway has been completed in November, 2010 and the following works are planned, as per the revised master plan:-

(i)         Extension of the existing runway by 336m towards Kalpati Island without interconnecting the two islands.

(ii)        Provision of RESA and blast pad at both ends of runway with 150 mts basic strip.

(iii)       Construction of new Terminal building, ATC tower cum Technical block & Fire Station. Also, the existing Control Tower cum fire station and existing Terminal building which is falling in the proposed basic strip will need to be demolished.

(iv)      New Apron for two ATR-72 parking bays & two helicopter stands.

(v)       Due to land constraints, it is proposed to extend the runway in the south-west direction over the lagoon and develop the apron & terminal building with allied infrastructure in the north-west direction by constructing a platform supported by R.C.C pillars on the lagoon. The conventional method of construction would be adopted. R.C.C Platform and steel columns and glass façade. The following are other proposed components of the development of Agatti Airport, the proposed and existing development are shown in Fig 2.5

Runway End Safety Area:             60m X 90 M

Blast Pad/Over run:                                  60M x 30 M

ATC Tower and Fire Stations:                    2025 sq.m and ht : 12 metres

Basic Strip:                                              75 metres on either side of Runway
                                                               strip, Total 150 metres.

Helipad:                                                   Helicopter Apron of size
                                                               74 m x 30 m,

Link taxi track from Runway to Apron of dimension 73m X 18m with 3.5m shoulders on either side of the taxi track.

Parking  area for 75 cars about 2000 sq. Mts.

APRON for parking aircrafts

(i)         New Apron of size 118m x 62 m suitable for parking two ATR-72 with power-in and power-out configuration to be constructed on a platform supported by RCC pillars in the lagoon.

(ii)        Provision of shoulders of 3.5m width around the Apron.

Terminal Building : Fully air conditioned Terminal building of area 2250 Sqm to  to cater for 150 passengers at a time (75 arriving and 75 departing) as per IMG norms.

Some operations are also planned in Kalpatti Island. : Proposed DVOR (Doppler Very high Omni Range) and NDB (Non Directional Radio Beacon). These are navigational instruments.

 

 

 

 

           

 

Fig 2.5 : Master Plan of Agatti Airport