Monday, May 05, 2008

Airport is International but Standards are Indian

A few weeks back the New Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad became operational. Lot of hype was created about the excellent infrastructure in the airport and the international standards it adopted. I happened to pass through the airport last weekend and I was shocked at the poor standards.
The airport has a three lane road leading to the single entrance gate. The passengers disembarking from vehicles take at least a minute to unload their luggage and lug it on to trolleys. Since there is only one entrance gate, vehicles get piled up one after the other in no time on all the three lanes. Since at the entrance security person must look at the tickets before allowing passengers entry, invariably a queue is formed. I have never heard let alone watch a queue to enter into an airport until this time. All this because of the single entrance gate. Only B-grade airports in small town have single entrance gates.
As you enter the airport, the high ceiling with glittering steel girders and dazzling lights greet you. You are impressed. You look down to the floor and you are greeted by a dull coloured one sq.foot granite slabs. Because of such small sized pieces the spaciousness of the lobbies does not get reflected. The chairs are comfortable. The washrooms are cramped. You will have to literally rub shoulders with your neighbor peeing along with you and if you venture a sideways glance you will be shocked to see the other man’s dick.
Aerobridges are in use. But when I returned the next day, the plane was not connected to the aerobridge. I could see passengers from several other aircraft being ferried by buses. As bus after bus discharged its cargo of passengers near the single escalator, again a queue is formed. You come out of the airport again through a single exit gate. There is only a three-lane road adjoining the kerb, which is hardly 100 meters long. The lane adjoining the kerb is occupied by the radio cabs, shuttle buses and only four car slots are left for the passengers. One lane is occupied by VIP cars with red bulbs on the roof. Since only four car slots are available for passengers, by the time they put the luggage in the boot the only lane available for traffic flow gets blocked. Passengers have to wait for at least 10 minutes for their cars to come, as drivers have to walk a long way to the parking and drive to the exit gate at a crawling speed . As passengers pour out from the exit gate, the kerb is jammed with people and trolleys. Chaos reigns supreme.
This is the most passenger unfriendly airport I have ever passed through.
If I rate Changi airport at 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 on passenger friendly amenities, I will hesitate even to rate this airport at 2.5.

6 comments:

Samir said...

I have yet to see the same but can agree with u. I judge most airports & hotel with the Rest room cleanliness & space...yet to see one place in India with that standard except Learning center at Satyam

radhe said...

Shocking to think that there are only 8 pisspots in the departure lounge which caters to domestic and international.

radhe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

In the exit area so much of space is wasted since people come out and walk to escalator and baggage claim. In many Intl. airports even this space is utilized well.
The baggage claim only 2 conveyor belts are there. Security check still there are only 2 entry points and will make you end up with queuing. Few shops but were useful. I enjoyed reading your blog and agree with your points... Subbu

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right. No comparison with any international airport in the developed countries.

Very little THINKING applied ! They need MCC !!!!

Regards
Bhushan

Anonymous said...

Dear Ramana

I agree with you. They are busy minting money rather than taking care of customers.

Thank you

Best Regards

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Naveen Yelloji